Pauline Hanson in push for same-sex marriage referendum
THE AUSTRALIAN JULY 12, 2016 By Jared Owen
Pauline Hanson will push Malcolm Turnbull for a referendum to hard-wire a definition of marriage into the constitution, warning the approaches advocated by Labor and the Coalition could lead to polygamy and child marriage.
The constitution does not define marriage and allows parliament broad scope to decide which relationships are granted legal recognition.
However the One Nation Party leader wants a “fresh and clear definition” of marriage built into the constitution, so future parliaments cannot cave into demands to extend marriage rights.
“A plebiscite simply gives the green light for legislative change to include same-sex marriage. However, that legislation could run the risk of being revoked or further altered to pave the way for reducing the marriageable age or the introduction of polygamy,” a party spokesman said.
“By holding a referendum on the matter, it provides a fresh and clear definition of marriage, that can be enshrined into the Australian constitution. Therefore, that definition cannot be altered by future Governments without a follow-up referendum.”
The Coalition is committed to putting the marriage question to the people at a plebiscite within months. As Labor opposes subjecting gay people’s civil rights an opinion poll, One Nation’s support may be crucial to push through government legislation enabling the national vote.
One Nation already has one senator provisionally elected to the new parliament, and could have several when outstanding ballot papers are counted and preferences are allocated.
Although a plebiscite would be carried by a simple majority, the constitution can only be amended by a referendum carried by an overall majority of voters and a majority of the states.
The result of the Coalition’s plebiscite would not bind MPs to support or oppose same-sex marriage, although the bulk of government MPs would be expected to ensure the people’s decision is implemented.
Labor MPs have temporarily been granted a conscience vote on the issue, but will be bound to support the party’s policy of legislating same-sex marriage in future parliaments.
Original article here
Child Brides – National Geographic article here
Child marriage violates girls’ rights to health, education and opportunity. It exposes girls to violence throughout their lives, and traps them in a cycle of poverty.