The ALP National conference yesterday amended the federal platform to support marriage equality being enshrined in statute, but on another motion, allowed members and Senators a conscience vote.
This despite the force of the claim by Senator John Faulkner:
It is not for governments to grant human rights but to recognise and protect them. Human rights can never be at the mercy of individual opinion or individual prejudice … A conscience vote on human rights is never conscionable.
It is believed a minority of Labor parliamentarians would not support changes to the Marriage Act, centred around adherents of Joe De Bruyn’s Shoppies Union.
Nevertheless, the change to the platform is significant, and to be welcomed.
I would like to see more attention paid to the position of the Liberal Party. Just as with Campbell Newman’s opposition to Civil Unions in Queensland, Tony Abbott is insisting that all Coalition MPs will vote as a bloc against legislation likely to be introduced in the new year by Labor MP Stephen Jones.
Who, exactly, is it standing in the path of equal rights?
And who can imagine Malcolm Turnbull, for instance, voting “no”?