Turnbull fails leadership
test on marriage equality

Federation activists marching for marriage equality in Sydney in 2016

Federation condemns Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his government for their approach to marriage equality.

Attending the Australian Education Union Federal Executive meeting recently, Federation President Maurie Mulheron discussed his concerns about the waste of money and resources, as well as the toxic debate that would ensue as a result of the postal vote.

“The Prime Minister has shown an appalling lack of leadership on this issue. The result is a $122 million sham opinion poll, money that could have been used to employ an additional 2000 teachers in our public schools,” he said.

Federation, with other branches and associated bodies of the AEU, agreed that continuing to pursue a postal vote before a parliamentary vote contradicted the proper role of government; to respect, support and protect citizens.

“The failure of Malcolm Turnbull to provide leadership on this issue will mean that LGBTIQ citizens, including many young people still at school, will have to endure the inevitable toxic atmosphere in the lead up to the survey,” Mr Mulheron said.

“Federation has serious concerns regarding the safety and wellbeing of staff and students in our schools because of the negative and hurtful commentary that this survey will generate. We will be taking up this matter with the Department to ensure that our schools are safe and supportive environments for all.”

Federation will continue to support the LGBTIQ community and campaign for marriage equality with other unions and progressive organisations.

Marriage equality is a long-standing Federation platform, reaffirmed by a decision of 2011 Annual Conference that said: "The discriminatory practices of homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, heterosexism and monosexism are infringements of members’ rights, the rights of students we teach and the rights of individuals within the communities in which we work, and must be challenged and eliminated."