Howard slams Turnbull over SSM poll

Howard slams Turnbull over SSM poll, by Greg Brown.

Former prime minister John Howard has accused the Turnbull government of “washing its hands of any responsibility” to protect religious freedom if the Yes vote prevails in the same-sex marriage survey.

Mr Howard turned up the heat on Malcolm Turnbull today, declaring it was urgent for the government to outline religious protections in a potential same-sex marriage bill and tell Australians what they were voting for in the November poll.

“This issue must be addressed before the survey is completed; leaving it as something to be taken up only in the event of a Yes vote prevailing is the equivalent of saying that it does not matter,” Mr Howard said in a statement today.

“If a Yes vote is recorded there will be overwhelming pressure to move on, legislate as quickly as possible, and then put the issue behind parliament. There will be scant opportunity for serious consideration of protections.

“Very likely, those raising such matters will be met with a chorus of put-downs, and accused of attempting to frustrate the verdict of the people.”

hat-tip Stephen Neil