David Leyonhjelm An Australian senator has announced he’s finalising a private member’s bill allowing same-sex couples to marry. Almost a year since Australian couples flocked to New Zealand to marry, their nation remains without marriage equality. It was a private member’s bill from opposition MP Louisa Wall which paved the way in New Zealand, and Liberal Democratic Senator David Leyonhjelm hopes to do the same. Previous such bills have been voted down after the Liberals and Nationals refused members a conscience vote. Leyonhjelm says he’ll urge a vote on his bill when Prime Minister Tony Abbott grants his MPs a conscience vote, and he hopes the “closet libertarians” in Parliament support him. “Once again it is the turn of classical liberals to step up for the benefit of gay, lesbian and transgender people,” he said. “Throughout history, classical liberals have been instrumental in putting forward the case that led to the major advancements in human rights, such as the abolition of slavery and women’s suffrage. “For those of you who have a problem with homosexuality for some reason or another, we are not asking for your approval. I ask merely for your tolerance,” he said. “If your private life is nobody else’s business, I ask you to understand that the private life of others is none of your business, and it is simply not your role to impose your views on others. I ask that you understand that the liberties you care about should be available to everybody, and that there is no place in Australia for second class citizens.” Australian Marriage Equality is urging Prime Minister Tony Abbott to allow the Coalition a conscience vote. It’s also calling on Coalition members who believe in true liberal values to come out in support of marriage equality. "Clearly, there is support for marriage equality across the political spectrum, so we urge MPs from all parties to work together to make this reform a reality,” deputy director Ivan Hinton says.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Monday, 14th July 2014 - 4:11pm
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