Sending a message to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that a free vote should be taken in Parliament, the Australian Labor party has blocked a plebiscite on same-sex marriage.
Both sides are left scratching their heads, News.com.au reports:
The difficulty is many Australians would accept same-sex marriage, but as a down-order issue which they would not take up political arms to support. However, the groups at the extremes of the debate are determined to keep fighting it out, trapping the centre and their politicians.
Prime Minister Turnbull can attempt to placate his activist colleagues by putting the matter off until the next election, possibly for three years, but that could leave him looking impotent. The issue itself would not go away.
If he attempted to short-circuit the process with a quick parliamentary conscience vote he could upset those colleagues fiercely defending the marriage status quo.
Meanwhile, Labor faces the prospect of having wrecked the best chance yet for SSM with the accusation it simply was playing politics.
And the chaos continues down under….