Same-sex marriage advocates in Australia have drawn up a list of about 70 federal politicians, who they are hoping to sway on the issue of marriage equality in the new year.
High-profile targets include Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Treasurer Joe Hockey, Education Minister Christoper Pyne and Assistant Minister for Education Sussan Ley on the Liberal side; shadow treasurer Chris Bowen and opposition frontbencher Ed Husic on the Labor side, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
In total, Australian Marriage Equality is targeting 50 lower house members from next month, with a two-thirds bias towards the Liberals.
It is reported that Liberal party room has not touched upon the issue of gay marriage since the September election, despite the High Court’s decision to strike down the Australian Capital Territory’s same-sex marriage earlier this month.
If the Liberals were given a conscience vote, about 25 MPs in the House of Representatives would have to change their stance for gay marriage legislation to pass, according to AME national director Rodney Croome.
In September last year, the lower house voted gay marriage down by 98-42, and the upper house 41-26.
Croome said that many new lawmakers of the new ruling Coalition are ‘receptive to the case for reform.’
‘Liberal supporters of reform clearly did not suffer from their stance at the polls,’ he notes.
But the picture may not be so rosy after all. A Fairfax Media of more than 20 new Liberal MPs found that of the 15 who did respond, none indicated outright that they were for marriage equality.