Same-sex marriage vote 'pointless' says researcher

A UNIVERSITY lecturer says the proposed plebiscite on same-sex marriage would be not only costly but pointless.

"Everyone has a view on marriage equality," Dr Liz Van Acker of the Griffith Business School said.

"They're either in favour or they're not. People are not looking for any more information about it. That's why they don't want a plebiscite. There's no need for one."

Dr Van Acker researches gender and couple relationships at the School of Government and International Relations.

She is also the author of a new book on the subject, titled Marriage and Values in Public Policy: Conflicts in the UK, the US and Australia.

"They need to give MPs a conscience vote and just get it done through a parliamentary vote. It's cheaper, it's quicker and at this stage it's ridiculous to be planning a February plebiscite."

Senator Nick Xenophon has confirmed he and his fellow crossbenchers will vote against the legislation to enable a same-sex marriage plebiscite, leaving the Coalition reliant on Labor's support, the ABC reported.

The Coalition needs the support of nine additional senators to pass the legislation in the Upper House.

Over the weekend, Mr Shorten indicated Labor was prepared to block enabling legislation to hold a plebiscite, although he stopped short of saying Labor would do that before the party sees legislation.

Should there be a national vote on same-sex marriage?

This poll ended on 06 September 2016.

Current Results

Yes. Changing the definition of marriage is important


No. Politicians should make a decision


No. It's a waste of money


I'm just over this issue


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Dr Van Acker said politicians will still have to change the Marriage Act 1961 irrespective of the result.

"The issue could be resolved in a cross-party free vote, saving a lot of time and money.

"It should also be kept in mind that voting in a plebiscite is not compulsory."

The cost to taxpayers of the plebiscite was costed at $160 million during the Federal Election campaign, but some estimates now place that figure as high as $250 million.

"We know Malcolm Turnbull personally supports same-sex marriage yet he is so beholden to the Conservative element of the Liberal Party and the position of former Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Parents & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) Australia reported on Friday that a Galaxy poll found 76% of Australians would not be happy if they had to rely on the approval of millions of other people before they could marry.

When then asked about conducting a plebiscite on whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, only 36% of respondents said they support a plebiscite

A survey showed 85% of LGBTI Australians oppose a plebiscite, with about 60% opposing it under any circumstances.

Shelley Argent, national spokesperson for Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays which commissioned the poll, said: "This poll shows Australians are against judging other people's relationships and reject a plebiscite when they realise this is exactly what a plebiscite is about."

"We will soon be launching a campaign that will educate Australians about the indignity and dangers of a plebiscite."

Long time marriage equality, Rodney Croome, said: "It's clear that when everyday Australians are encouraged to walk in the shoes of LGBTI people they reject a plebiscite."

"Our job is to make sure politicians are encouraged to empathise as well, and drop plans for an expensive, divisive and unnecessary plebiscite."

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