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Cross-party marriage bill coming for Aus

Thu 2 Jul 2015 In: International News

A cross-party marriage equality bill will be introduced when Australia’s Federal Parliament resumes on August 11, and Liberal MPs will debate allowing a free vote on the issue. A marriage equality rally in Melbourne The significant movement across the Tasman comes as it faces increased pressure to catch up, after the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Ireland and the US. Sky News reports Australia’s cross-party bill will be co-sponsored by Liberal MPs Warren Entsch and Teresa Gambaro, Labor MPs Terri Butler and Laurie Ferguson and Independent MPs Andrew Wilkie and Cathy McGowan. It says it understands the Liberal party room will, crucially, decide whether to hold a conscience vote on same sex marriage a week later on August 18. Sky News says it’s unclear whether the Liberal Party will back a conscience vote, but such a vote would give the bill the best chance of passing. Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, says because the bill will be signed by two Liberals it will have the best chance of achieving a Coalition free vote, and because it has cross-party support it has the best chance of passing. "With momentum growing after marriage equality in Ireland and the US, this bill gives Australia the strongest opportunity we have ever had of achieving marriage equality,” he says. "We aim to win majority support in Parliament with grassroots mobilisation, rallies and advertising campaigns throughout July and across the nation." Prime Minister Tony Abbott has reiterated he remains in support of the ‘traditional’ definition of marriage. New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key supported the successful marriage equality bill here in 2013 and MPs from across the house voted with their conscience, aside from New Zealand First which bloc voted against at the request of its leader Winston Peter who believed there should be a referendum.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Thursday, 2nd July 2015 - 9:10am

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