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10 Things About The Marriage Equality Debate That Are Terrifying The Coalition Right Now

The scary prospect of same sex marriage is splitting the government.

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Ever since two liberal backbenchers said they would introduce a cross-party bill to legalise marriage equality, people in the Coalition have been freaking out, and government ministers have been lashing out at each other.

1. Talking about marriage equality will distract the government from doing more important things.

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Trade Minister Andrew Robb described it as a "twentieth order issue".

“It is important to a lot of people, but for most people it’s a twentieth-order issue, and we’ve got to look at the priorities for the community and this should not be allowed to distract us from the key priorities that we’ve got,” Andrew Robb told ABC Radio.

Tony Abbott is also worried about this, saying that he wants the government to “remain absolutely focused” on jobs, the economy, and national security.

But if they really wanted to get everyone to stop talking about passing marriage equality laws, they could y'know, pass those pesky marriage equality laws.


2. Marriage equality would make the Coalition lose the next election.

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"People voted for or against Coalition candidates on the basis of our longstanding and unified position on marriage, which the government has taken to many elections — including the 2013 election," said Andrew Nikolic.

"It would be dishonest and disrespectful to change our longstanding position mid-term. I have no intention of doing so.''

3. Not having marriage equality will make the Coalition lose the next election.

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On the other side, according to the Guardian, a Coalition MP said it would be "madness" to go to the next election "effectively telling voters that if they wanted to see marriage equality they needed to vote Labor."

4. Marriage equality will mean we won't fit in with the rest of Asia.


Speaking on ABC Radio National Thursday morning, Eric Abetz asked "Are we in the Asian century or not?"

"The Labor party and other journalists tell us time and time again that we are living in the Asian Century. Tell me how many Asian countries have redefined marriage?" he said.

5. Marriage equality will open a Pandora's Box and release a plague of polyamorous marriages upon the world.


"If you undo the institution of marriage... you will open a Pandora's Box for all sorts of other potential possibilities," he told Kieran Gilbert on Sky News on Thursday.

"Like what? Like what possibilities?" asked Gilbert.

"Polyamory, clearly," was the response from Abetz.


6. Marriage equality will discriminate against religious ministers.

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NSW Nationals senator John "Wacca" Williams is scared that there will be law suits brought against religious institutions that do not want to marry gay couples.

"What are you going to do to protect the priests, the Anglican ministers, the ministers of different churches from being sued for discrimination?" he asked.

But it's understood that there will be protections in the legislation that means this is a non-issue.

7. Marriage equality will mean people will have to marry their parents.

"I love my siblings, I love my children, I love my parents, but does that mean that I should marry them?" asked a very concerned liberal MP, Dennis Jensen.

Presumably, the only people more concerned than him about this were his siblings, children and parents.

8. Marriage equality will be the same as Communism.

Dennis Jensen's still scared. This time, comparing same-sex marriage to Communism, in the sense that both were seen as inevitable. He's hoping that like Communism, it will be "consigned to the dustbin of history."

9. Not having marriage equality means Australia will be left behind.


"There has been a sea change around the world...the trend is only going one way" said communications minister Malcolm Turnbull, who is a supporter of both same sex marriage and keeping up with trends.

10. Marriage equality is just a fad.

In his interview on Sky, Abetz said the push for marriage was merely "the latest fad".

According to Abetz, marriage equality is just like your collection of Space Jam Tazos, it's the latest fad that we're all begging our government for just because all the other countries get to have it. But unlike marriage equality, people haven't been fighting to get equal access to Space Jam Tazos for eleven years, ever since our old dad told us in 2004 that only some types of kids could have them.

Look, the point is, GIVE US OUR TAZOS ABETZ!!!

Alexandra Lee is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Alex Lee at

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