#Plebafail – AFA Rejects “The Summer Of Hate” Plebiscite In Australia

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull plans to introduce proposed legislation to enable a marriage equality plebiscite in Parliament.

A survey of LGBTIQ people found that they, the people most affected by this decision, are opposed to a plebiscite. Almost 200 LGBTIQ Australian leaders across the arts, sport, religion, business and community sectors have called on Federal Parliament to reject this plebiscite.

The Atheist Foundation of Australia supports this stance.

While Australians will be most likely be asked: “Do you support a change in the law to allow same-sex marriage?”, the question we should be asking ourselves is why public funding of $15 million is being allocated to both "yes" and "no" campaigns – or any at all.

We know that because of negative attitudes towards LGBTIQ people, especially young people, self-harm and attempted suicides occur more often in that group, than in the rest of the community. A plebiscite, especially one involving funding to promote attacks on LGBTIQ people, will just exacerbate this violence.

The Prime Minister says that arguing this way demeans the Australian people's ability to argue the matter in a civil way. However, the loudest voices against marriage equality vilify LGBTIQ people. These voices link homophobia with bestiality and pedophilia, and make specious nonsense-arguments about family composition, saying that non-straight couples are abnormal and harmful to children. In what situation are these positions not homophobic? Those who spread homophobic views like these include some religious leaders such as Reverend Powell, groups like the Australian Christian Lobby, and even members of Mr Turnbull's Government.

The Government says there is no other alternative to a plebiscite, and that they have a mandate to implement it. There is an alternative; it is only the choice of the Government that is putting a plebiscite into the conversation. But the Australian people only gave the Government a majority, the slimmest of majorities, in one house. That is a poor sort of mandate.

There is no need for a plebiscite. It will waste money and hurt the people it is supposed to help. The Atheist Foundation of Australia joins the call for a decision by the Parliament that will promote a better future and not deplete public funds in the process.

Kylie Sturgess

Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc
PO Box 3582
Parramatta NSW 2124

Phone: (02) 8007 4503
Email: president@atheistfoundation.org.au

  • mofa

    Why would a atheist organisation have a strong opinion on a plebiscite?

    The LGBTIQ community makes up 1.2% of the Australian population (Conducted by the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society(ARCSHS) at La Trobe University. Published in Australian & NZ Journal of Public Health, Vol 27 No 2 2003 ISSN 1326 0200.” )

    There are another 98.8% of the population who might want to discuss (and vote on) this call for change to a definition, to a tradition, to a social norm, to a ceremony that has been with us for thousands of years.

    Are the AFA against a poll because they fear that some members of the Australian population may not agree with same sex marriage and therefore cause some members of the LGBTIQ may be hurt or offended?!
    Democracy and freedom of speech are paramount and the fear of people not agreeing with the proposition or the chance of a vigorous debate is so unimportant in comparison!

    I am perplexed as to why the AFA would hold a position on a plebiscite? I though that Atheism+ was a failed experiment and completely dead. I thought that the P Z Myer’s type of atheism was long gone and buried.

    I looks as though the AFA has not moved on from the mess it was in 2012.

    Atheism is lack of belief in a god or gods and should not adopt the SJW mantle.

    I am in favour of same sex marriage by the way.