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It starts – 5 Tips on a plebiscite in Australia

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I’ve been watching and waiting for the division to occur about the proposed plebiscite by our current PM Malcolm Turnbull.  Originally proposed by Tony Abbott when he was Prime Minister it seems to be an agreement that Mr Turnbull has now agreed to run a $160M plebiscite post the next federal election.  Mr Turnbull has previously been a supporter of marriage equality.  This has positioned the plebiscite to take place in 2017.  A plebiscite is non-binding which means the government is under no obligation to act on the result.  This is the topic that has been erupting in the news over the past few days.  This eruption has occurred because there are a number of Liberal and National MPs who are stating they will question the outcome of the plebiscite, vote according to their conscience or vote according to the results in their electorate.   The overwhelming question is why have a plebiscite?  With these variables in place  it will potentially impact on the action after the result is announced thereby reducing the chance of the outcome being followed.

I am interested in a different angle though.  From here on in the messaging coming through via the media will be divisive.  That divisive reporting will bring out the fearful, homophobic and all round illogical statements about same-sex relationships.  This will be an attempt to sway the general public to vote against marriage equality.

What does this mean for us, our youth and our children?  To me it means messaging that may be distressing for adults not to mention how children may interpret the information they hear.  What can you do to help?

  1. Reinforce that same-sex relationships are perfectly OK
  2. Explain that political arguments are often broader than the issue being discussed – it’s a power game
  3. Ensure that your children have access to positive information about same-sex relationships/families
  4. Open up communication.  Give opportunities to take about what they are hearing.
  5. No matter how difficult answer questions.

It’s hard to always be strong during these public debates and it is OK not to be.  Join ITAV on Facebook for more support.  It Takes a Village.

Protect yourself and your children; always remember you are in the right.  xx

 

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