Australian PM: ‘Marriage vote could be changed’

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said the Government may change the proposed plebiscite in order to get parliamentary support.

After a number of minority parties and independents announced their opposition to it, the bill that was introduced this week looks set to fail if Labor, the main opposition party, don’t support it.

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Sources in the Labor Party have indicated leader Bill Shorten is expected to advise the group to block the bill.

Today (September 16), the Prime Minister said that although the same-sex marriage plebiscite was an election promise, it could still be negotiated alongside a number of financial matters.

“We may have to negotiate on all of these matters,” he told 3AW radio.

“The one thing that is very clear is that you cannot expect to get legislation through the Senate on a take-it-or-leave-it basis unless people agree with the proposition.”

Now scheduled for February 11, next year, a number of arguments have been made against the vote including, its cost and the scope it has to be hateful and divisive.

Labor MP Anthony Albanese, who is against the plebiscite, said this showed Mr Turnbull was being flexible.

“I think the more Malcolm Turnbull adopts Labor policies, the better the government will be and the better Australia will be,” he said.

“I think Malcolm Turnbull…surely has to acknowledge he never supported a plebiscite. A plebiscite was imposed on him by Tony Abbott.”

A number of high-profile celebrities, including Kylie Minogue and Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham, have spoken out against the public vote.

Earlier this week, Bill Shorten suggested a plebiscite campaign on same-sex marriage will cause LGBT suicides.