- This week the Government confirmed the proposed plebiscite on whether Australia should legalise same-sex marriage.
- Some in Parliament oppose it, arguing it’s a ‘waste of money’, while others say rolling-up marriage equality and Indigenous Constitutional Recognition ‘in one go’ could save money.
- On Wednesday, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull moved a motion upholding equal rights for all Australians, and a commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous people to be debated next month.
NITV: What are your views on same-sex marriage?
CP: My personal view on same-sex marriage is that it is a personal commitment between two people who love each other. I think if people love each other we shouldn’t be putting up barriers for people to affirm their commitment to one another.
NITV: The Government has just announced they will go ahead with the plebiscite, do you agree with it?
CP: No, I don’t agree with a plebiscite. I oppose a plebiscite on marriage equality. I think the Government has failed to listen to the LGBTIQ community and failed to take on-board people’s concerns. What the plebiscite will do is (unleash) discrimination and hate campaigns that will be launched against people of that particular community across the country.
NITV: When you talk about opening the floodgates of discrimination, what do you mean, exactly?
CP: What this does is allow a group of opinionated people to voice their concerns when gay marriage will not affect them in any way, shape or form. But it gives them an opportunity to put forward their views, their ideas, which only represent a very small portion of the community, that are very hateful. This causes unnecessary anxiety to people in our community.
NITV: As an Aboriginal man, what is the view you’ve found while travelling during your campaign or visiting family… What are people’s views on this out on country, out in the bush?
CP: I think people right across the NT think that it’s an unnecessary waste of $160 million. That money could be used to benefit people’s lives, in terms of housing and infrastructure or social services. This is a decision the Parliament could be making. I think it really highlights that we look to our Government for real leadership about making decisions, not wasting $160 million on a decision that could be voted on in the Parliament.
NITV: But how could that vote go in Parliament?
CP: That’s something that major parties and independents had all expressed going into the Parliament, and I think that eliminates individuals amongst the greater community with their hate campaigns.
I think that it’s a decision that our elected members should consult their electorates around the vote that would be taken in the Parliament, and it eliminated those people from running those horrific campaigns targeting people based on their sexual preference, and naming and shaming them, because it’s nothing to be ashamed about.