Jul 27, 2015

Inside the gay marriage debate: Shorten sets Joe de Bruyn’s expiration date

The Labor Party has finally committed to a binding vote on same-sex marriage. Eventually.

Josh Taylor — Journalist

Josh Taylor


Joe de Bruyn stays seated as other Labor supporters give a standing ovation to Penny Wong

Labor Leader Bill Shorten faced a crucial test of his leadership at the ALP national conference on Sunday, staring down the barrel of a contentious same-sex marriage vote that could have unseated either him or his deputy, Tanya Plibersek. To address the thorny question while keeping the leadership secure, Labor did what it does best, and found a solution that pleased exactly no one.

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6 thoughts on “Inside the gay marriage debate: Shorten sets Joe de Bruyn’s expiration date

  1. Xoanon

    Are we really supposed to applaud Labor for instituting a binding vote… from 2019? And this with 70%+ of the public supporting equal marriage. What a damp squib.

  2. Benmarshall3000

    Call me a PC pedant, but could we drop the use of ‘gay marriage’? The issue is a discriminatory law, not what uglies are being bumped by any given happy couple. Cheers.

  3. shea mcduff

    Good article, apart from a bit of artistic licence such as the hackneyed ” a crucial test” and “could have unseated either him or his deputy”, the usual hyperbole.

    The real take away messages are:
    1. Its a big win for Shorten and co.
    They changed a loss into a neutral/positive with a win shortly down the track.

    2. Its a huge loss for the hard Catholic Right of De Bruyn.
    As the photo aptly illustrates.

    Which really raises the question – is the pernicious influence of De Bruyn coming, finally, to an end?

    That’s 3 major defeats in fewer years.
    The first was the attempt to put Farrell at the top of the SA senators list in front of Wong. That came a cropper.
    Then Farrell was stared down by Weatherill over parachuting Farrell into a safe seat and, contrary to the dire forecasts of some in the SA ALP, Weatherill won the ensuing election.
    And now this.

    We can hope.

  4. chinda63

    Let’s remember it could happen before 2019. It could happen right now if the Coalition allowed a conscience vote.

    Let’s also remember marriage equality is Labor Party policy. It is therefore not unreasonable for Labor’s rank and file members and/or the National Executive to select candidates by factoring in their willingness (or otherwise) to abide by party policy.

    The whole issue of conscience voting would disappear overnight if those remaining troglodytes who oppose marriage equality, abortion or stem cell research just joined the DLP or Family First which is where they probably always belonged.

    A lot can change in a short space of time.

  5. CML

    Spare me from these ‘radical’ Catholics!
    I was raised in that mythology, but saw the light decades ago. How dare they try to foist their religion on everybody else?
    One thing not mentioned in the article, was the promise from Tanya Plibersek that legislation to allow same-sex marriage would be tabled in the parliament in the first 100 days of a Shorten government. Since that could take place in 2016, who cares about what might, or might not, happen in 2019?

  6. AR

    I object to toeing any party line – either we believe in principles or not – but can wallow in schadenfreude at the thought of the homophobic Joe Bullock being forced to vote in favour. Louise Pratt was royally screwed by the hard right machine.

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