Malcolm Turnbull’s addressed the House of Representatives this afternoon, promising that Australian people could be trusted to conduct a civil and reasonable debate around the plebiscite, refusing to stop talking even as a cacophony of angry screams threatened to drown him out.
“Bill Shorten is saying that the Australian people cannot be trusted to engage in a reasonable debate of ideas,” said Turnbull, as the indistinct angry yelling echoed around the chamber, appearing to come from nobody and nowhere in particular.
“This is yet another insult from an Opposition Leader who cannot trust his own electorate to be civil!” Turnbull continued, as the screams – through which some reported the presence of various slurs and insults – continued unabated.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten responded to Turnbull’s remarks with skepticism. “I trust the Australian people. But can Mr. Turnbull really promise a civil debate when he can barely even speak over the constant enraged screaming that fills this chamber for reasons that elude both science and reason?”
“Surely, surely not.”
Marriage equality advocates have opposed the plebiscite in the past because of the perceived impact on vulnerable LGBTI people, who could be subject to abuse and harassment for the duration of the campaign.
A spokesperson for Australian Marriage Equality confirmed that they believe Turnbull’s remarks are misplaced. “There are a lot of people out there who hold dehumanising views about LGBTQI and queer people,” they said.
“Need evidence? Merely listen to the furious yelling that has filled the air ever since the Coalition brought up this awful plebiscite.”
“Seriously. I can barely hear myself think.”
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