OPINION: Time for marriage vote
OPINION, by David Moase - DEX editor
IT IS hard to imagine a country like Ireland has held a referendum on same sex marriage, and voted comfortably in favour, while in Australia our politicians are still stumbling around trying decide how to handle the question.
That's not to denigrate Ireland, but anyone who has been there will know how very Christian and very conservative it is.
Yet in our far more secular society, accepting gay marriage is proving a real struggle for many people, including those who represent the voters in Canberra.
In Australia, where the issue doesn't require an referendum, conservatism appears to be a strong influence on many politicians on both sides.
We now have a situation where Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has proposed a vote on same sex marriage but is getting plenty of backlash, including a fair amount from his own ranks, and Prime Minister Tony Abbott is having a bigger struggle on whether he allows Coalition MPs a conscience vote on the issue.
Marriage equality may not be a priority for some of our politicians, but it is for plenty of Australians. It's time to put this issue to a vote.