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We all should be tolerant and respect difference and diversity - on both sides of this debate - but same-sex marriage has utterly hijacked the national agenda.
A statistically small minority's issue has become the majority's headache, and our politicians' incompetence, dithering and backbiting merely have made things worse. The controversy over same-sex marriage must be resolved decisively by Parliament so we can all move on.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the 2011 census found about 33,700 same-sex couples in Australia. These represented about 1 per cent of all couples in Australia.
Last year, Roy Morgan Research asked how many Australians are homosexual.
Dean Smith, as conservative a Liberal as you can find, said yesterday: Personally, I prefer the traditional definition of marriage, but Smith is right.
It's consumed acres of newsprint, thousands of hours of airtime and polarised social media.
As great conservative thinker, and Abbott hero, Edmund Burke put it almost 250 years ago: So let's scrap the expensive plebiscite and put same-sex marriage to a free, parliamentary vote.
Let's charge our MPs with using their judgment, consulting widely, listening to their constituents for and against, and voting after a thoughtful parliamentary debate. If Turnbull promises a free vote after the election, as he should, Shorten must stop his grandstanding, make clear Labor MPs will not be bound on the issue, and work with the Prime Minister to lower the emotional temperature Shorten's own unstatesmanlike antics helped fuel.
And if individual voters consider candidates' views on same-sex marriage as a vote-changer in the imminent election, that's democracy in action.
But if there must still be a plebiscite, Turnbull must clarify its terms and timing before we go to the polls.
His nemesis, Malcolm Turnbull, pledged to continue with the plebiscite when he challenged Abbott for the Liberal leadership, even if it was against all his progressive instincts.