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Irish same sex couples against Australian plebiscite, say ‘human cost’ too high

Irish same sex couples against Australian plebiscite, say ‘human cost’ too high

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull assured voters there would be a vote on gay marriage

PFLAG are stepping up their campaign arguing against the long-awaited Australian plebiscite on gay marriage goes to Senate on November 7.

It says the process of campaigning could be too taxing for Australian gay marriage advocates.

The plebiscite, which PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and Australian LGBTI group just.equal describe as ‘hurtful, expensive, divisive and unnecessary’, is due to enter the Australian Senate next week.

Both groups behind the anti-plebiscite campaign fully support marriage equality, but believe the process of campaigning will stress LGBTI families.

‘Public votes on marriage equality put a huge and unnecessary strain on same-sex couples and their families,’ a PFLAG spokesperson, Shelley Argent, said.

A major concern of the proposed plebiscite has been the expected cost. It has been estimated that could be as high as $525m (€477m).

An online plebiscite has been suggested as an alternative that would be less expensive, but Argent says it ‘misses the point.’

‘The fundamental problem with a plebiscite is the human cost not the financial cost.’

Instead of having a plebiscite they argue the issue should go straight to the Senate.

The campaigners from the 2015 constitutional amendment, which passed in favor of marriage equality, said they were targeted by people in their communities for campaigning for a ‘yes’ vote.

‘There was a hidden cost to the Irish referendum,’ Sharon Dane said, a co-author of a University of Queensland and Victoria University study examining the suffering caused specifically to LGBTI people during last year’s campaign.

It reported that, among 1,500 respondents, less than a quarter of those surveyed would do it all again.

‘Many same-sex couples and their families are still suffering from the hurtful and negative messages the referendum enabled.’