- "half the four Labor members opposed reform on the grounds that society had not yet caught up."
Article courtesy of Crikey
Harley Dennett, a freelance journalist and former Star Observer reporter, writes:
A House of Representatives committee has dodged the question of whether to pursue marriage equality after a record 276,000 responses during its inquiry.
Instead, the eight-member committee offered six diverging views in additional comments written by the members, which the chair Graham Perrett described earlier today as a "consensus".
Only the Labor MP and Greens representative Adam Bandt supported a change in the law at this time. In a telling example of how the ALP might divide once the bills read the floor of the Parliament, half the four Labor members opposed reform on the grounds that society had not yet caught up.
Liberal MPs on the committee wrote that their party would oppose the bills as they would break the promise the Coalition made before the last election to retain the status quo. They also said marriage laws limited for heteros-xuals "is not discrimination against people who wish to belong to same-s-x relationships" due to the unique nature of the institution.
Inquiry reports usually have at most one additional conclusion representing the opposition’s stance. This report had six.
Public statements of support collated by Australian Marriage Equality show only a third of the Parliament are ready to pass marriage equality, and less than half of Labor MPs. Coalition MPs would have to cross the floor to support the bills as Tony Abbott has not allowed a conscience vote, so it is unlikely the bills would pass in the current Parliament.
A marriage equality inquiry in the Senate is due to report later this month.
Full report available from Crikey