And, this being Australia, we're doing it in the dumbest possible way! Yay- aww.
See, it's become obvious that same-sex marriage is only a matter of time, and it's becoming increasingly untenable to delay it any further, not to mention it being kind of embarrassing to be one of the last holdouts in the West.
And, hey, our Prime Minister at the moment is pretty socially liberal, and the opposition would fully support a same sex marriage bill, and there's no constitutional issues like there were in Ireland. So, no problem, right?
Oh, except our Prime Minister is also holding onto power by the skin of his teeth, with a majority of just one seat in parliament and constantly declining polls. So... basically, he's got to sell his soul to the social regressives in his own party to stay in office. Instead of just having a bill go through parliament, we're going to have a national plebiscite on the issue! That won't be legally binding. And which members of the government have said they won't necessarily respect if it returns a 'yes' result.
Oh, but they can't actually do that, because a plebiscite would require senate approval, and they don't have the numbers – Labor and the Greens basically feeling it would be a complete waste of time and money, that government money would be used to fund a 'no' campaign, that it would just be nasty and divisive for no benefit, and can we just pass a bill already?!
So, what are we doing instead? Well, we're having a voluntary postal survey! It's not a plebiscite because it's being run by the Bureau of Statistics, not the Electoral Office! Who may or may not actually be capable of running something on this scale! And it's going to cost tens of millions of dollars! And conservative members of the government have said they still won't respect a 'yes' vote unless it wins overwhelmingly! And it may well be unconstitutional to do an end-run around the senate like this!
So now the question is, is it even worth legitimising this sort of hateful nonsense by participating, or should we just boycott the damn thing? At this point, I don't even know. Basic rights shouldn't be put to a poll, especially not such an amature-hour half-assed one like this. And Labor probably will just pass legislation for same-sex marriage when they win office next anyway. On the other hand, if we are going to have this idiocy, better we win it... I honestly don't know. I want this to succeed, but I can certainly understand the impulse to boycott.
On the plus side, Bill Shorten's really impressed me with his statements against the poll and in support of the LBGT community. So maybe there's still some hope that Australia's government won't always be held hostage by its worst representatives...