Labor leader Bill Shorten says the marriage equality plebiscite campaign will unleash "haters" and homophobia, linking it to this week's tragic events in Orlando and the UK.
Turnbull responded by saying "I believe Australians are better than that. I believe we can have a discussion about marriage equality. It can be civil."
Earlier in the day, Turnbull said "homophobia should be condemned everywhere" after a controversial Islamic cleric, who had made anti-gay comments, was hosted at the PM's first ever Ramadan dinner.
The LGBTI community has been in mourning since 49 people were killed in America's worst ever mass shooting in a gay nightclub in Florida. Last night, UK Labour MP Jo Cox died after a man shot and stabbed her in broad daylight in West Yorkshire.
Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Mark Di Stefano at email@example.com.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.