“Dear diary, today I met with many LGBTI groups who all told me they love the plebiscite!” is what Brandis is claiming his diary might say about meetings held recently.
Attorney-General George Brandis told the ABC yesterday that gay groups realised that the plebiscite was the way forward:
“I have met with many, many advocates for marriage equality and those conversations obviously have been private conversations, but I can assure you that most of the gay groups that I have met with, while the plebiscite may not be their first preference, recognise that the plebiscite is now the surest and most immediate path to this outcome.”
When pushed in the Senate on which groups he had met with, Brandis said he had met with Australian Marriage Equality, the Australians 4 Equality offshoot from AME, the New South Wales Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, PFLAG and “Victorian gay and lesbian community advocates and others”.
Crikey verified with the ones Brandis mentioned that he did in fact meet with them, but we decided a freedom of information (FOI) request into Brandis’ diary would be difficult while he is still considering a High Court challenge over his recent court loss over shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus’ FOI for his 2014 diary entries.
But Dreyfus decided not to wait and filed another FOI request for a month’s worth of Brandis’ diary in the same format as in the previous request, but only for meetings with the pro- and anti-marriage equality sides. He has argued that such a request is so specific and so constrained that it will not need all the time that Brandis previously claimed prevented him from complying with the FOI Act (for which he is responsible). Dreyfus’ office tells Crikey that the aim of the request is to see whether Brandis gave equal face time to both sides of the issue before proceeding with legislation.
We wait with bated breath.