Danby loves gay marriage, suddenly. A constituent in Michael Danby’s electorate of Melbourne Ports was bemused to receive this letter from his local MP this week, in which Danby promotes his views on marriage equality, and derides Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for sticking with Tony Abbott’s policy of a plebiscite to decide the issue. “The proposed plebiscite is another delay of a decision that should be made by Parliament,” he writes. “Many will question why this issue has been singled out to be outsourced, absolving MPs of their core role to represent their constituents in Parliament on difficult issues.”

 Our tipster writes “Apologies for the sauce stains; had to dig it out of the bin.” Danby’s focus on MPs fulfilling their responsibilities to represent constituents struck a chord with the tipster, as Danby has not always shown the same commitment. In 2012 Danby abstained from a vote on marriage equality, without explaining why for more than six months. He eventually told Melbourne LGBTI radio station Joy FM that he didn’t vote because he didn’t think the bill would pass. In July 2012, Danby told the Star Observer the decision was about saving the government:

“It’s the worst political crisis and ugliest Parliament I’ve ever been in, and there are lots of issues that people are involved in … the leadership in particular, and they took priority over some other issues. I can’t apologise for it because that’s just what happened.

“It’s not that I didn’t have time, I prioritised what I thought was important. Survival of the government was — it was obvious at any minute that we could go under, and I was concentrating on stability inside the government and on other issues, which didn’t give this the priority that people in the LGBTI community wanted.”

He’s in a hurry now, but wasn’t in 2012.

Peter Fray

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