By Samuel Leighton-Dore

It was today exclusively revealed by The Sydney Morning Herald that our parliament could finally have locked in the numbers to vote “fuck yeah!” on national marriage equality in both parties. This means that should Malcolm Turnbull ever man-up to the job of allowing a free conscience vote – and avoid spending millions of dollars on a non-binding public plebiscite – we’d almost certainly win it.

“We’re confident the numbers are there for marriage equality to pass both houses of federal Parliament right now if a free vote is to be granted to Coalition members,” the director of Australian Marriage Equality, Rodney Croome, said this afternoon.

“A handful of politicians we are counting towards a majority have yet to declare their support but we’re confident from the private conversations they’ve had with us, local campaigners, or party officials that they will vote for marriage equality.”

The shift to a slim majority has been attributed to the “reduced influence of the former prime minister within the Liberal Party” wrote SMH’s Mark Kenny in today’s story. AME’s assessment suggests there are now 76 “yes” votes in the 150-member House, and 41 in the 76-seat senate.

However, in unsurprising news, the Australian Liberal Party this week continued to handle the subject of national marriage equality like a slippery bar of soap in the scummy bathrooms of a maximum security prison. To misquote one William Shakespeare: To plebiscite or not to plebiscite, that is the question. Despite the assurance of newly elected Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last October (“When the Australian people make their decision, that decision will stick. It will be decisive. It will be respected by this government and by this parliament and by this nation.”) Senator Abetz, a known opposition to changing the Marriage Act, has come forward and thrown another freak-out spanner in the works.

“I would need to determine whether (the plebiscite) really is an accurate reflection, whether it is all above board or whether the question is stacked, whether all sides received public funding,” he told The Guardian Australia website.

Renowned moron Senator Cory Bernardi then backed up this hard-headed notion, telling Sky News that “a plebiscite is basically a glorified opinion poll and no government should be bound by that.”

Great news. So let’s not have one then? Oh, wait. You want to have one. Right. Basically, Abetz, Bernardi, and a handful of Liberals are being bad sports. They’re admitting that they fully support the Australian people voting on the $160 million dollar tax-paid plebiscite, so long as they’re comfortable with the ultimate decision. Confused? Yeah, us too. I guess it’s kinda like asking your family what they feel like for dinner (Pizza) before selfishly ordering Chinese take-out. Only, you would’ve spent a whole bunch of your neighbour’s cash to ask the question in the first place.

But why is all this happening now? Well, the government has kinda backed itself into a tricky little corner – which is exactly what happens when you stubbornly resist the glorious flow of change in favour of your own sad, prehistoric ideals. They know that should they hold a free conscience vote, the votes are now stacked in favour of marriage equality. They also have an inkling that should there be a plebiscite, the majority of Australians would rally behind marriage equality. Aside from ignoring the subject altogether, they’re simply crash-hot out of options.

In further proof that our country should probably just give up and be run by prepubescent school children, an 11-year-old girl named Isabella Mills came out on The Project this week with a speech voicing her personal opinion on the faux-controversial subject of equality. And, honestly, it makes a whole lot more sense than most of the drivel coming out of Parliament House.

“It is a complete waste of time, money and will most certainly fracture some of the positive views that people have about you,” the sassy primary-schooler said. “If an 11-year-old girl can see that, why can’t you?”

Preach, white girl. Preach!

And while today’s pro-marriage revelation is certainly an exciting step in the right direction, we still need a certain someone to green-light the vote. It would save the government millions, and save a bunch of families and same-sex couples from pointless repression.

I guess the ball’s in your court, Malcolm.

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