We didn't want to be here. We shouldn't be here. But now we are here, we have to fight.

10 August 2017

Theres no denying the Turnbull Governments opinion poll is a stacked deck - designed to mark every card against those seeking marriage equality.
Thats why supporters of marriage equality need to work twice as hard to get out the vote, and ensure that Malcolm Turnbulls $122 million survey accurately reflects the overwhelming will of the Australian people.
Calls for a boycott are understandable. LGBTI Australians rightly feel insulted that we have to ask permission to be equal.
We didnt want to be here. We shouldnt be here. But now we are here, we have to fight.
Yes, there are serious questions about the legitimacy of the political fix chosen by Malcolm Turnbull to overcome the Senates repeated rejection of his plebiscite.
We know from the 1997 postal ballot on the republic that turnout is likely to be very low, especially among young people. It will disenfranchise people in remote areas, especially indigenous Australians, and those travelling overseas. And there are very serious questions about the ability of the ABS to run such a ballot.
Its no wonder pollsters have ridiculed postal votes as a "complete waste of money".
And we know, because we are seeing it already, that Malcolm Turnbulls opinion poll will unleash a new wave of hatred and bigotry against LGBTI Australians, and especially against our kids.
But Malcolm Turnbulls pathetic capitulation to the hard right of his party means that the campaign has been launched, and unless halted by the High Court, the ballots will be going out to millions of Australians in the next few weeks.
Labor supports marriage equality and we will campaign for the rights of all Australians to marry the person they love. Unlike Malcolm we will fight for equality.
Right now a boycott can only play into the hands of those who would deny us our rights.
So we must do everything we can to get as many people as possible on to the electoral roll in the next fortnight, to register all those young people who have never voted, and re-enrol all those struck off by moving house.
And then we must ensure we get those ballots back in record numbers to shame this weak and leaderless government into finally doing the right thing.
And because we believe in equality, if, after all this, Malcolm Turnbull still wont act, Bill Shorten has made clear that Labor will legislate for marriage equality in our first hundred days.
This Opinion Piece was first published by The Sydney Morning Herald on 10 August 2017.