Marriage equality should be achieved via a free vote in Parliament, according to Diversity Council Australia (DCA).
DCA’s CEO, Lisa Annese, said DCA supports marriage equality but a plebiscite is not the right way to achieve it.
“We believe marriage equality will truly cement workplace fairness and inclusion for the LGBTI+ community. Indeed, many of our member organisations have already voiced their support for marriage equality. However, a plebiscite would be damaging, costly and unnecessary.
“Our politicians already have the power to enact the necessary legislation to achieve marriage equality – we urge them to work together towards this end,” said Lisa.
A plebiscite would be:
- Damaging to LGBTI+ people and their families: A campaign against marriage equality will inevitably be damaging to LGBTI+ people who already experience unacceptable levels of discrimination and prejudice;
- Costly: The current estimate is that a plebiscite will cost in excess of $160 million. PwC estimates that the real cost to the Australian economy could be as high as $525 million; and
- Unnecessary: Consistent polling has shown that a majority of Australians support marriage equality and the Parliament already has the ability to pass the necessary legislation to enable marriage equality. In fact, recent polling showed more people support a vote in the Parliament than support a plebiscite.
“Smart employers understand there is much to be gained in terms of reputation, recruitment, retention, productivity and market share from ensuring workplaces are welcoming and inclusive of all employees and customers, irrespective of sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status. Marriage equality would significantly enhance these efforts,” concluded Lisa.