The five magic words that flipped Labor’s position on gay marriage

In an age of constant polling and 24-hour news, what makes a politician vote against the will of their own electorate? Apparently this.

Labor politician Tony Burke, spoke for the first time during a debate over marriage equality in the House of Representatives, revealing how a simple point from fellow Labor politician Penny Wong completely changed the matter for him.


Burke is an elected representative of Watson in New South Wales, which produced the second-highest ‘no’ vote of any electorate in the same-sex marriage postal survey.

Faced with a tough decision, Burke decided to ignore his electorate’s position and instead vote in favour of the bill.

However, he explained just why he couldn’t allow himself to ‘endorse’ a form of discrimination.

The House of Representatives later went on to pass the bill, creating history not only for legalising same-sex marriage, but possibly for also being the first Parliament to break out into a rendition of a classic Aussie banger.

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