ANDY Wheeler has challenged anyone opposed to the notion of same-sex marriage to explain to him how changing the Marriage Act might affect them in any way.
Mr Wheeler is a long-time advocate for marriage equality who has again been dismayed by a lack of action from the nation’s political leaders.
An emergency party room meeting called by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Monday night reaffirmed the government’s policy of no change to the Marriage Act without a public vote.
They vowed to take the Coalition’s push for a national plebiscite back to parliament and if that plebiscite fails to gain support on the floor of parliament, as expected, the government will run a postal plebiscite giving all adult citizens their say on same-sex marriage.
If a majority says yes, government MPs will be given a free vote on the issue in parliament but if the majority says no, no free vote will be made available to Coalition MPs.
Mr Turnbull says the issue could be decided by Christmas but Mr Wheeler is tired of waiting.
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“The postal plebiscite is just another excuse for politicians to hold off being accountable for a decision that some of their constituents won’t like,” Mr Wheeler said.
“This will be a platform for the closet haters who will use it as a way of saying they don’t like gay people.”
Mr Wheeler said there was now majority support for same-sex marriage among the broader community but even those who opposed the idea had nothing to fear.
“The million-dollar question for those who are against gay marriage is ‘how does it affect you?’,” he said.
“I keep asking that question in order to get some kind of valid response.
“Compare how it would affect traditional marriage if the legislation went through to how it might affect a core group if it doesn’t go through, that core group being young people who are perhaps dealing with issues of their sexuality.
“To me it would be another nail in the coffin of showing non-acceptance of those young people.”
Calare MP Andrew Gee’s office was contacted for a response to the government’s plebiscite plan but the Western Advocate had not heard back from them at the time of going to press.