Voters will have to wait until after polling day to have their say on same-sex marriage after Tony Abbott definitively ruled out holding a people’s vote in conjunction with the next federal election. On Sunday, he ruled out holding a public poll at the same time as the federal election. “I think the people should be able to consider this in its own right,” Abbott told reporters in Brisbane. “Millions of people in our community have strong views one way or another on this and why shouldn’t we be able to debate this and decide this in its own right without being distracted by the sorts of arguments which you inevitably get during an election campaign?”
Shortly after Abbott’s press conference, the communications minister, Malcolm Turnbull, tweeted a link to his blog. In it, he set out why he thought a plebiscite should be held before the next election.
“My own view for what it is worth is that it would be better if same-sex marriage were not a contentious issue at the next election – there are sincere, conscientious differences of opinion throughout the community and on both sides of the political divide and issues like this are better dealt with outside of the frenzied hurly burly of an election campaign,” he wrote. “Important though the matter is, every day talking about same-sex marriage will distract from the Coalition’s core messages.”