I strongly oppose the Turnbull Government’s plan to spend $160 million on a taxpayer funded plebiscite on marriage equality.

It is the responsibility of the Parliament to deal with this issue and discrimination has no place in modern Australia.

The greatest cost of Mr Turnbull’s divisive plan is to our communities as it could incite hateful homophobia and intolerance against people purely on the basis of who they love.  

As long as this discrimination continues, we are telling our lesbian and gay Australians that they are somehow less than their heterosexual counterparts.

I’m particularly concerned about the impact this will have on young lesbian and gay people in Braddon at a very difficult time in their lives. We already know that a young Australian who identifies as gay is six times more likely to consider taking their own life, compared to their sibling, classmate, colleague or teammate. This is unacceptable and a divisive anti-marriage equality campaign will only make the situation worse.

I will stand with the lesbian and gay community and fight intolerance and discrimination – both in the Parliament and in our local region.