Speaking to Tasmania’s 7HO FM, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull defended the upcoming, costly, plebiscite on same-sex marriage and suggested that Australian’s could start buying wedding gifts in the near future.
When asked why he and his fellow politicians can’t just introduce marriage equality, instead of the more costly and time consuming plebiscite, the Mr Turnbull explained that the coalition came to the conclusion that “this was an issue the Australian people should express a view on.”
“I have to say,” Mr Turnbull reasoned, “all the opinion polls I’ve seen on the question of whether parliament should decide on the issue of same-sex marriage, or the people via a plebiscite, show a very big majority in favour of a plebiscite.”
The PM went on to say that he understood some people’s frustration with how long it was taking and the cost associated, but it was his party’s view that it would “be a thoroughly democratic process.”
When confronted again by the cost, an estimated 180 million Australian dollars, Mr Turnbull said: “I think it’ll be a perfectly civil debate. I will be voting yes. I will be voting to legalise same-sex marriage, and I think that the plebiscite will be carried. There will be a positive vote. It’s important that we’re able to have national conversations and debates on issues like that.”
One of Radio 7HO FM’s presenters then asked the Prime Minister: “So I could potentially start shopping for all the weddings that I may have coming up?”
To which the PM replied: “That’s up to you, but I think you’re unlikely to be disappointed. But ultimately, the three of us, will have one vote each. And so the Australian people will decide.”
At present there is no confirmed date for a plebiscite on same-sex marriage in Australia.
Listen to a snippet of the interview with the PM here: