Parliament debates plebiscite on same-sex marriage

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and former PM Tony Abbott are vocal on thesame-sex marriage issue.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and former PM Tony Abbott are vocal on thesame-sex marriage issue.

WATCH Senator Penny Wong’s emotional address to the Senate below

First order of business today in the corridors of power was the government's move to reintroduce the legislation for a plebiscite.

There has to be a vote to allow the government to do this which means the plebiscite could be dead in the water before it's debated.

If the government succeeds then the bill has to go back through the usual processes before it comes to a vote.

"It is not a unifying moment. It is exposing our children to that kind of hatred. I wouldn't mind so much if you were prepared to speak out on it," Senator Wong says.

"If the Prime Minister were prepared to stand up and say, 'That is wrong'. But what does he do? It is a dreadful reason to not trust the Australian people and it is - don't be silly, of course we can have a sensible debate."

"Maybe he can stand up for some people who don't have a voice. Because we know the sort of debate that is already there. Let me say, for many children in same-sex couple parented families and for many young LGBTI kids, this ain't a respectful debate already."