A tape recording of Christopher Pyne suggesting that Malcolm Turnbull’s government will deliver action on same sex marriage “sooner than anyone thinks” has been leaked.
Pyne was at a bar in Sydney on Friday night ahead of the party’s federal council meeting talking to a group of Liberal party moderates.
“Friends, we are in the winner’s circle but we have to deliver a couple of things and one of those we’ve got to deliver before too long is marriage equality in this country,” the Defence Industry minister reportedly said. “We’re going to get it. I think it might even be sooner than everyone thinks. And your friends in Canberra are working on that outcome.”
Christopher Pyne caught on tape revealing plans to introduce same-sex marriage “sooner than everyone thinks” https://t.co/A3esC4ElJo
— The Australian (@australian) June 25, 2017
According to Andrew Bolt, who published the tape, it’s further proof that the current government is “Labor-Lite”.
He says news that plans are afoot to deviate from the party’s plebiscite policy is likely “to trigger a revolt” from conservative MPs who he says are already furious with Turnbull.
“Copying Labor’s position on same-sex marriage as well will be the final insult”, Bolt wrote. “Pyne’s prediction could detonate an explosion that destroys the party and Turnbull’s leadership.”
— Herald Sun (@theheraldsun) June 25, 2017
In a statement today Pyne brushed off his remarks and said “The government has no plans to alter the policy.”
If that’s true it’s a grave shame.
Action on same-sex marriage is scandalously overdue.
I support marriage equality and if Labor had supported the plebiscite, it would now be a reality. The govt has no plans to alter the policy.
— Christopher Pyne (@cpyne) June 25, 2017
To conservative MPs who vehemently oppose marriage equality, Turnbull taking action is unconscionable. It would represent an unforgivable betrayal.
For the majority of Australian voters it would be a victory for decency and fairness. Because the majority of Australian voters want the government to act on same sex marriage.
A survey by the Australian Marriage Equality organisation earlier this year showed almost 60% of respondents believe its important for the Government to resolve the issue of marriage equality this year with more than 40% believing it was very important that the issue is resolved.
“There is undeniable and strong support in the community and across the parliament, now it’s up to our federal politicians to do their job and vote marriage equality through so we can all move forward,” the Chair of Australian Marriage Equality Alex Greenwich said.
— AU Marriage Equality (@AMEquality) June 21, 2017
Almost 62% of those surveyed believe their Federal member should be allowed to vote for same-sex marriage when the issue comes to parliament.
Further, 41% of voters are less likely to vote for the Government if the Liberal Nationals Coalition continues to block members voting according to their conscience.
“Voters in liberal and national electorates want their MPs to be able to vote for marriage equality, a straightforward reform that we know communities across Australia want parliament to deliver this year so we can all move forward,” Greenwich says.
On this issue there is a chasm between what the majority of voters and parliamentarians want, and what a minority of conservative politicians are determined not to deliver.
That stubbornness isn’t going to be rewarded at a ballot box. The fact they’re so unwilling to accept that speaks volumes.
Here’s hoping there is more than a grain of truth in Pyne’s remarks.