❝In most jobs, refusing to undertake a core function for which you were employed – even as conscientious objection – would dissolve the contract. The honourable path is resignation.❞
— Mark Kenny, Delay, delay, delay: Coalition tying itself in knots to avoid equality question (2017-Aug-7) [The Age]
A message to members of the Federal Parliament of Australia.
The only reason to hold a referendum, is to change the Australian Constitution. In making a change to the Marriage Act, you are not changing the Australian Constitution you are changing existing legislation. The scope of Section 51 of Australian Constitution with respect to legislation regarding marriage by Federal Parliament has already been determined via the High Court. John Howard used this mechanism for his changes to the Marriage Act in 2004.
“We’ve decided to insert this into the Marriage Act to make it very plain that that is our view of a marriage and to also make it very plain that the definition of a marriage is something that should rest in the hands ultimately of the parliament of the nation, (It should) not over time be subject to redefinition or change by courts, it is something that ought to be expressed through the elected representatives of the country.”
— John Howard (2014)
Note the ‘expressed through the elected representatives of the country’, you have been elected to legislate. You didn’t need a plebiscite first time around, you don’t need one now. To use a non-binding postal poll (let us not honour it with the title plebiscite) is a cynical stalling tactic with no relevance to legislative process.
If you cannot legislate on the will of the people (as determined via election) – you need to resign.