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MP fires back at Shorten over gay poll

AAP logoAAP 21/09/2016

Gay Liberal MP Tim Wilson has taken Bill Shorten to task over comments the Labor leader made which linked a planned same-sex marriage plebiscite to youth suicide.

While such lines may sound good in a political pointscoring war, it demonstrated a failure to understand the issue and the responsibility Mr Shorten carried with his office, Mr Wilson said.

"Suicide is not a political plaything. It's serious," he wrote in The Australian on Thursday.

In a speech to parliament last week, Mr Shorten said a no campaign would be an emotional torment for gay teenagers.

"And if one child commits suicide over the plebiscite, then that is one too many."

Mr Wilson said parliamentarians should always be mindful that their words have a special influence on the tone of the debate of the country.

The arguments for a change in the law were strong and focus around a society built on commitment and mutual support.

"That is where the debate should be focused, not feeding anxiety, anger and threats."

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