LGBTIQ man: We don't need plebiscite on marriage equality
DESPITE the Federal Government's claims that they are putting the power back in the hands of the people, a local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTIQ) community member said the decision to go to a plebiscite was a slight to the Australian public.
Yamba chef and owner-operator of Irons and Craig, Antony Perring, said he could not understand why the government was taking the decision to a public vote.
"I honestly feel completely gipped by the decision this government has made," Mr Perring said.
"The odds of getting a referendum up are very slim. You need a majority of votes and a majority of the states. Historically speaking the majority of referendums get voted down and this government knows that.
"And then the timing of it, they don't seem to know what they are doing. Are they holding it in this Government term? Are they holding it just after the election? Is it just a cynical political exercise? It just seems to raise more and more questions."
Mr Perring said he did not agree with the idea that it was giving the power to the people, because they do not give that power to the people on other legislative decisions.
"If we give politicians the responsibility for managing our health care and educational systems and roads, why can't they look after this as well?
"We don't have plebiscite for every law that gets passed through the house so why change that now.
"If they are just going to put it all back in our lap, there is no wonder people are cynical of the way our country is governed.
"I am a bit disappointed in the process."
While Mr Perring is unsure if he even wants to marry his long term partner David Barnier, it is the lack of that choice that makes him feel like a "second class citizen".
"I am losing faith in the democratic process," he said. "This government is using marriage equality to score points at the next election. But this is not about political point scoring, this is people's lives.
"I don't think I am a second class citizen, but I feel I am treated like that because I can't marry the person I love but someone else can."
The plebiscite was announced last Tuesday following the Coalition's rejection of a conscience vote.