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Turnbull holds Abbott's marriage line

Thu 17 Sep 2015 In: International News View at Wayback View at NDHA

New Australian leader Malcolm Turnbull is backing a plebiscite, or public vote, on the issue of marriage equality, despite earlier backing calls for Coalition MPs to be allowed a free vote. He is standing behind the view of the man he rolled for the top job, Tony Abbott, saying there should be a “people’s vote” at some stage in the next term. “Historically issues of this type have been resolved in parliament by free vote and the honourable member is correct in referring to that,” he said in question time. “Another way of dealing with this is by vote of the people. And the Coalition, our government, has decided that the resolution of this matter will be determined by a vote of the people, all the people, via a plebiscite, to be held after the next election.” When he was accused by the opposition of selling out, he responded: “Why is the opposition afraid of the people having a vote? Why don’t they want all Australians having a vote? There is no greater virtue in a free vote here or a plebiscite. They are each means of resolving the matter - one, I grant you is more expensive but, nonetheless, it is a very legitimate and democratic way of dealing with it.” A referendum on marriage equality is unnecessary for the law to be changed in Australia, which could happen if the Coalition allowed its MPs to have a free vote – and enough supported the measure.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Thursday, 17th September 2015 - 8:30am

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