In senate estimates today Attorney-General George Brandis has ruled out seeking a temporary suspension of anti-discrimination laws during any marriage equality plebiscite, in response to questioning from Greens marriage equality spokesperson Senator Robert Simms. But, he left the door open to the Australian Christian Lobby receiving public funds to run a ‘no' campaign.
"The idea of public funds being given to an organisation like the ACL to campaign against marriage equality will horrify all Australians who believe in equality," Senator Simms said.
"While the Attorney-General has ruled out seeking to suspend anti-discrimination laws during any plebiscite, the threat of the ACL getting their hands on taxpayer funds remains. This homophobic fringe group should not be given taxpayer funds to peddle their ugly brand of politics."
The Attorney-General's department also revealed that 3.6 staff had been working full-time on the plebiscite project, on annual salaries more than $100,000 each. Despite this, Senator Brandis could not say when a plebiscite would be held.
"The costs associated with this plebiscite continue to blow out. The lunacy of this plebiscite is plain for all to see. It's time for the Liberals to end this farce and grant a free vote on marriage equality," Senator Simms said.