The Orwellian double speak of Turnbull and Brandis is almost humorous until you remember there are real people being affected by their hypocrisy. It certainly takes some audacity for Coalition members to try to portray themselves as champions of the LGBTI community. Eric Abetz notably tried recently and did a pretty good job of keeping a straight face whilst doing so. And here they are doing it again, painting themselves as the party for progress and those who will not support the plebiscite as standing in the way of marriage equality.
The reasons for not having a plebiscite have been made clear. It is costly, superfluous, harmful and pretty much contrary to our system of parliamentary democracy. If you want a good example of why governments don’t make decisions this way look at the Brexit referendum. Despite all that, I was on the fence for a while about it, seeing it as the worst way to move forward but the only way being presented. But the LGBTI community has spoken pretty loudly and generally consistently in rejecting the plebiscite. That is good enough for me. And I agree, human rights should not be the subject of opinion polls.
On the other hand, if the senate rejects the plebiscite, the reason for not having a parliamentary vote have not been made clear at all. Turnbull’s blustering boils down to the argument that, “If we can’t do it our way, we won’t do it at all,” which is a pretty juvenile attitude to bring to a negotiation. But that is because this was never a negotiation. Rather it is a pretty obvious delaying tactic from a party that opposes marriage equality but has no defensible reasons with which to make their position overtly.