August 14, 2017

Olympian Ian Thorpe (openly gay) Berates MP for Position on Gay Marriage

SWIMMING great Ian Thorpe has had a spray at Canberra politicians berating them for not “doing their job” when it comes to same-sex marriage.
The Olympian, who came out as gay in 2014, told he feared a “heated” debate in the run up to a postal plebiscite could see some young people struggling with their sexuality pushed further into the closet.
On Sunday, Thorpe threw his weight behind the campaign for a yes vote for same-sex marriage. Joined by his partner Ryan Channing, he headed down to Sydney’s City2Surf fun run to encourage people to ensure their details were current on the electoral roll.
Swimming legend Ian Thorpe talks to runners in Sydney’s City2Surf about same-sex marriage on Sydney morning. Picture: AAP Image/Daniel Munoz.
Swimming legend Ian Thorpe talks to runners in Sydney’s City2Surf about same-sex marriage on Sydney morning. Picture: AAP Image/Daniel Munoz.Source:AAP 
The Australian Electoral Commission has given people until 24 August to check they are registered to vote and their address is correct with ballot papers for a postal plebiscite on the issue due to be sent out in September.
“My preference would be for there not to be a vote; it’s not necessary,” he said.
“The goalposts have moved again but we’ll get behind it and I encourage people to vote.”
The postal vote is still not certain to go ahead. The High Court will hear two legal challenges in early September just days before ballot papers hit mailboxes around the country.
Nevertheless, the Government is confident the poll will proceed. If the plebiscite delivers a “yes”, the Coalition has said a free vote will take place in Parliament. Although some MPs have said regardless of the result they will vote against marriage equality.
If the postal poll delivers a “no”, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said the Government won’t proceed with a marriage vote among MPs.
Thorpe said it the whole $122 million process was unnecessary.
“We could have had this already if politicians just did their job but now we have to speak very loudly and clearly that Australians support marriage equality.”
Ian Thorpe with is partner Ryan Channing.
Ian Thorpe with is partner Ryan Channing.Source: ABC
The anti-bullying advocate said he was concerned about the debate’s effect on young gay and lesbian Australians.
“When you look at the referendum that took place in Ireland, it actually pushed some people further back into the closet when they heard family or friends didn’t support this change.
“This campaign could become quite heated and although I hope it doesn’t get to that point I worry that it will,” he told
On Sunday, Senior Liberal Josh Frydenberg confirmed he supported same-sex marriage and will be encouraging as many people as possible in his electorate to participate in the postal plebiscite and vote “yes”.
It comes as confusion reigns within the cabinet as to whether ministers could overtly campaign for either side of the marriage debate. The Australian reported senior ministers, including Mr. Turnbull, would talk about their position on the issue, respond to media questions and encourage people to vote, but not push a position.
Mr. Frydenberg looked to have a bet both ways. “When it comes to my broader position in terms of campaigning on this issue, I have bigger fish to fry and that is energy policy and that will be my priority in the weeks and the months ahead,” he told Sky News on Sunday.
Education Minister Simon Birmingham said he had received no such instruction about campaigning and would be backing yes.
“I will be doing everything I possibly can to encourage Australians to vote “yes”, to support love over fear, to show respect over intolerance.
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott and conservative Senator Eric Abetz are shaping up as the chief cheerleaders for the campaign to keep the current definition of civil marriage.
— with AAP.

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