10 Sep 2017

Turnbull calls for a 'Yes' vote for same-sex marriage

5:02 pm on 10 September 2017

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has urged the country to vote yes in the postal survey on same-sex marriage and says he fails to see how it would threaten the institution of marriage whatsoever.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

Malcolm Turnbull has asked Australians to "be honest with each other" about what the true threat to marriage is. Photo: RNZ / Brad White

Speaking at the NSW Liberals and Nationals for YES campaign launch in Sydney, Mr Turnbull said the question facing the nation was one of fairness.

"Throughout my public life I've sought to ensure same-sex couples are not discriminated against and their entitlements, be it in respect of medical benefits, taxation, superannuation or employment, are no different to those afforded to heterosexual couples," he said.

"Why then shouldn't those same rights now be extended to marriage?"

Mr Turnbull pointed to the fact that same-sex marriage had already been legislated for in 23 countries, including several with which Australia has close cultural affinities.

"In any one of those nations, has the sky fallen in? Has life as we know it come to a halt? Has traditional marriage as we know it been undermined? The answer is no."

The Prime Minister said as a conservative, he believed in commitment and the ties that bind us, and the strength of society when people make vows to support each other.

He reflected on a comment by former British prime minister David Cameron, who said: "I don't support gay marriage despite being a conservative, I support gay marriage because I'm a conservative".

Mr Turnbull also asked Australians to "be honest with each other" and see that the only threat to marriage is a lack of loving commitment, not gay couples.

"I am utterly unpersuaded by the proposition that my marriage to Lucy, 38 years long next March, or indeed any marriage, is undermined by two gay men or two gay women setting up house down the road, whether it is called a marriage or not."

- ABC

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