A February 11 marriage plebiscite is looking increasingly unlikely.
Talks broke down yesterday between the Government and the Opposition about trying to find a way to steer enabling legislation for a people’s vote through the Parliament.
We won’t know for sure until Parliament returns on October 10 but Labor has given every indication it will block the plebiscite in the Senate.
The seeds of this were sown when Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said a plebiscite would cause people to take their own lives, a highly emotive and dangerous suggestion aimed at silencing debate.
Labor should realise the danger and hyperbole of this rhetoric. It also says that Australians can’t be trusted to have a respectful debate.
If Labor blocks the peoples’ vote, it is highly likely there will be no change to marriage for the remainder of this parliament.
But the uncertainty surrounding the plebiscite does not mean that we should stop campaigning.
Those seeking to change the definition of marriage are hiring staff and building their campaign organisation.
We have to continue doing the same.
This is not a time to take the foot off the pedal.
We are in this predicament because we have been silent for too long while others have participated in public debate without challenge.
That is why we have volunteers out distributing campaign material in letter boxes and it is why we are working with other partners to build a big coalition of like minded groups to work to retain the definition of marriage.
Despite losing the meeting room at the Mercure Hotel at Sydney Airport, a meeting of key stakeholders went ahead last week as planned but at a different venue.
I never thought Australia would come to a place where I would have to participate in a meeting in secret because of threats of violence.
ACL is pressing on in assisting Dr David van Gend with the national launch of his book, Stealing from A Child, the injustice of ‘marriage equality’.
Tickets are available for Melbourne and Hobart, with events still being planned in Adelaide, Perth and Canberra.
Many will rush to judgement of David’s book but could I encourage you to get a copy and to read it.
It is a respectful but necessarily robust defence of marriage and the rights of children.
I had the privilege of joining former New South Wales Premier Kristina Keneally on Sky News on Sunday night.
It was a rare opportunity to have a longer and more thoughtful discussion on television about marriage and why it is important.
Thanks for all of your support in this great quest to preserve marriage. Our work is only just beginning.