The Australian Senate voted yesterday (Nov. 7) against holding a plebiscite on same-sex marriage.
Although two-thirds of Australians favor marriage equality, most did not want to hold the vote. Many saw the plebiscite as a delaying tactic. Others didn’t want to hold an election that would cost $140 million in taxpayer money. Others saw it as a taxpayer-funded platform for anti-equality forces to spread hate and intolerance.
The plebiscite would have been non-binding. Amending the marriage law would require a parliamentary vote anyway. So supporters of marriage equality would like the issue to be introduced in the Senate and voted upon my lawmakers.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, turning down the plebiscite could destabilize Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s conservative coalition, which is split on the issue.
Opposition Greens and Labor support marriage equality but voted against the plebiscite. One senator, an independent from Tasmania, spoke about her religious objection to marriage equality, but said she’d abide by the will of the Tasmanian people.