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Why Australia Will Vote 'No' To Same-Sex Marriage

Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer.
Stefan Postles via Getty Images

The question is: Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry? The answer, despite all the polls and publicity, will be a resounding NO from the Australian people.

Not because we're religious zealots, or fear same-sex marriage is the first step towards legalised bestiality, or that we're a bunch of 'bigoted c*#ts' (Thank you very much for a respectful start to the debate, Tim Minchin.)

Nor will it be because, as most of the post-poll pundits will most certainly proclaim, the silent majority have had enough of enforced political correctness.

The reason we will vote NO goes back to a simple yet thoroughly reliable principle my mother taught me as a child -- ask a stupid question and you get a stupid answer.

It's the reason why Britain is now settling its divorce from the EU and the United States has shacked up with Donald Trump. Give the people a bizarre, illogical option and they'll choose it every time.

The postal plebiscite is forcing us to over-think the issue. Simply posing the question makes you suspect there's something intrinsically indefensible about the idea.

So, Tim, don't blame the people who vote, blame the people who gave us the choice. Our elected representatives.

I'd wager the average Australian either doesn't care or really know why their opinion is being sought. As Bob Katter so helpfully pointed out, the LGBTQ community took the word 'gay' without so much as a by your leave. And apart from stigmatising a popular Streets ice cream for a while, life went on. Besides, the issue doesn't affect most of us directly, so why should we have a say? It's like seeking my opinion on the M4 toll -- don't ask me, it's not a route I take.

Why should all the tedious debating, arguing, sledging and thinking be left to the people of Australia? We've outsourced that chore. And in the tradition of off-shore processing of refugees, once we've outsourced, we like to abdicate all responsibility. I don't know if same-sex marriage is un-Australian, but this plebiscite sure is.

That's why I think the real question we should be asking ourselves before we vote is this: Do you want your representative in Canberra, democratically elected and handsomely paid, to do their job?

If you answer NO in the plebiscite, then you're absolving our politicians of responsibility and letting our representatives in Canberra off the hook. Not to mention completely wasting $120 million. A YES vote on the other hand won't automatically make same-sex marriage legal, but it will force the issue to be debated and taken to a free vote in the House of Representatives.

And that's exactly why I'm encouraging everyone I know to vote YES. Not because I think it's an important issue of equality, or that I want to allow same-sex couples the drama of getting divorced. A YES vote simply forces our politicians to make the decision, as they should have done in the first place. I'm not so much a same-sex marriage supporter as I am an advocate for politicians doing their bloody job.

And if they're not up to the task, then maybe they don't deserve to be our representatives after the next election. But that, I suppose, is a question for another time.

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