Tuesday, 1 August 2017

How close are we to marriage equality now?

Labor leader Shorten salivating at the Lieberals marriage meltdown
I'm always very cynical about the Lieberals and the chances  of marriage equality in Australia. The far right of the party has blocked it every step of the way, even going so far as to annul the marriages of those gays in Canberra (who got married in a small window of opportunity) through the High Court. Albeit what came out of that was the High Court ruling that it was up to parliament to vote on the issue (*gasp*).

Then the Lieberals decided on a plebiscite. One which the LGBT fought solidly against and won, being as it would have been a viscous debate by the religious bigots and wasn't even binding. The last thing the LGBT needed was a platform set up by the gov for the lunatics to preach god know what about us. The plebiscite died on the senate floor after the Greens and Labor were amiable to what we LGBT were saying to them. What came out of that was the senate joining the High Court in saying it was up to parliament to vote on it. 

Since then the Lieberals have steadfastly stuck to the plebiscite-or-nothing mantra. reciting over and over that it was the only way forward for marriage equality. Well it was for the Lieberals because they were all in such a tizz over it. This even though they removed funding for a plebiscite in the budget. According to the Lieberals we all had to wait for them to drag themselves in to this century before any of us LGBT could be married. It was all about them, not us.

Which brings us to now. Such has been the absurdity of the plebiscite-or-nothing doctrine that 4 MP's within the Lieberals own party are in mutiny against it and seem determined to force the gov into a conscience vote on the issue. The irony is delicious. The homophobes have painted themselves into a corner and have nowhere to go.

I'd not be surprised mind you if the Lieberal bigots found some way to block marriage equality yet again, but the push for it is now so strong there'd be a huge outcry from all sides. Will it finally get through the lower house this time (the numbers are there in a conscience vote) or will the few bitter and twisted white Catholic men hold Australia back in last century yet again? I'm feeling hopeful about the former.

If there’s a conscience vote, the bill would probably pass, which is why it probably won’t happen.

 But the MPs can introduce the bill anyway and it will be referred to parliament’s powerful Selection Committee, which decides what bills are actually debated. The committee is where most private member’s bills go to die. It’s dominated by the government, so if Turnbull doesn’t want the bill to move forward, he could stop it there.

But wait, there’s more.

 Labor could then move a motion to suspend standing orders, which means they’d postpone the routine business of parliament to debate a matter of great importance — in this case, marriage equality.

 Because Labor only has 69 MPs (nice), it would need the support of some crossbenchers and Liberals to reach the 76 votes needed to suspend standing orders. It would probably get the support of four crossbenchers, meaning it would need a few Liberals too.

 That’s where the guys mentioned before come in. They’ve said they’re open to the idea of crossing the floor to suspend standing orders. Once they’ve done that, Labor could bring on a vote on marriage equality, which the same MPs would be likely to support, and BAM, we’ve got marriage equality.

This would be great for people who aren’t shit, but terrible for the government. It would mean it has lost control of parliament, it would piss off conservatives who might do anything to gain revenge, and it would really annoy the Nationals. Junkee