Last week, I received my voting form for the Australian Marriage Law survey. Thanks to the political will of the Coalition Federal Government, Australians now have the opportunity to cast their potentially meaningless vote on the legalisation of same-sex marriage via an unnecessary and divisive postal survey. Costing $122 million, the survey is non-binding*, and several Liberal MPs, including almost half of South Australian representatives, have already claimed they will not acknowledge a “yes” vote.
Legally, a survey or plebiscite is not necessary to make any amendments to the Marriage Act, which the Howard government changed in 2004 to define marriage as “the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others”, and to prevent same-sex marriages conducted overseas being recognised in Australia.**