Shorten stunt on homosexual marriage
The Irish vote was largely fueled by disgust at their perverted Catholic priests. Priestly perversion has so antagonized once Holy Ireland that people leapt at the chance to defy priestly teaching.
Australians, however have never been majority Catholic nor were Australian priests treated like Gods, as they were in Ireland. So it should not be assumed that Australian voters would do as the Irish did.
Public opinion polls do show majority support for homosexual marriage in Australia but the recent British election shows that the polls can get it badly wrong on sensitive questions.
Personally, as a libertarian, I think government should get out of the marriage business altogether and leave it to the churches and the freedom of contract. Alabama has just enacted that so it is not hard
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has confirmed Labor will move a bill to legalise same-sex marriage next week.
The move follows an announcement by the Greens that their Marriage Equality Bill would be brought on for debate in the Senate on June 18 with a view to vote on November 12.
In a statement, Mr Shorten said the time had come for Parliament to debate marriage equality and that he found it unacceptable current laws excluded some individuals.
The bill will come before the House of Representatives on Monday.
"I know this private members bill will not have the universal support of my colleagues," Mr Shorten said. "It will challenge the deeply held personal beliefs of MPs and senators on both sides of politics.
"This is why Labor members have the freedom to vote their conscience, a freedom Tony Abbott is currently denying his party."
Even with a conscience vote in the Labor Party, Mr Shorten does not have the numbers to pass his bill.
Rather he is using it to urge the Prime Minister to grant a conscience vote to his MPs, something the Coalition already appears to be edging towards.
In recent days, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull described Australia as the "odd one out" on same-sex marriage among Commonwealth nations including the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Canada.
Renewed debate in Australia has been triggered by Ireland's vote in favour of marriage equality in a referendum at the weekend.
"The world isn't waiting for Tony Abbott and our Parliament shouldn't have to," Mr Shorten said. "I know there are Coalition MPs who'd support marriage equality if Tony Abbott granted them a free vote."
Liberal senator Arthur Sinodinos said the Coalition had been waiting to see how the Labor Party would move on the matter. "I know some of my colleagues, like Warren Entsch and others, want to raise the issue and have talked about having game plans on this," he said. "So we'll wait until next week, but certainly I would support a conscience vote on this."