Holy Plebishite Double Dip!

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“Thank YOU, Mr Shelton. The polling booth is in the back room.” “Thank you, Jesus.”

Lots of locations are used as polling stations during elections. Including religious premises like church halls. The government has indicated that the usual locations would also be used during the marriage equality plebiscite.

The Australian Election Commission pays the churches etc rent for the use of their facilities. If this were to happen during the plebiscite this would amount to a hidden subsidy for the NO campaign.

Therefore religious premises should not be hired for the plebiscite. Unless, of course, the AEC spends an equal amount hiring gay venues.

Secondly, polling places are meant to be neutral territory. Using religious premises as voting locations during the plebiscite would be like use Labor or Liberal clubs and offices as polling stations during an ordinary election.

Therefore religious places should not be used as polling stations during the plebiscite.

Using them could create an improper influence on voters decisions.

Of course, the AEC could redress the balance by hiring gay bars and clubs, sex on premises venues, and gay community organisation facilities as polling places, but somehow I don’t think the likes of Lyle Shelton would be happy casting their votes at the local Toowoomba beat.

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About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years.

“Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe.” (Daniel Witthaus, “Beyond Priscilla”, Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)