A plebiscite on marriage equality would be “a harmful public vote” and should not go ahead, Victoria’s premier Daniel Andrews says.
Mr Andrews has written to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull “on behalf of” Victorians, calling for a bipartisan Bill to amend the Marriage Act within the next 100 days.
He pointed to Coalition MPs publicly saying regardless of the plebiscite result, they would vote against marriage equality in Parliament.
“You are proposing to spend $160 million of taxpayers’ money on what amounts to the nation’s most expensive opinion poll,” Mr Andrews wrote.
He said the vote would “hurt people” .
“It will legitimise a hateful debate, which will subject LGBTI Australians to publicly funded slurs and denigration, further alienating a proud community who have fought so hard against prejudice for so long,” Mr Andrews said.
Mr Andrews ended his letter by reminding Mr Turnbull of the republic referendum.
“After a botched referendum in 1999, you accused a conservative Prime Minister of breaking the nation’s heart.
“If you fumble at this crucial moment, history will only remember you for the same thing.”