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Australian Government minister predicts free vote on gay marriage before year’s end

Australian Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said he believes Prime Minister Tony Abbott will allow government MPs a conscience vote on same-sex marriage before the end of 2014
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull
Photo by Eva Rinaldi

Australia’s Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said that he believes government MPs will be given a free vote on same-sex marriage before the year is over.

Turnbull has previously predicted that MPs from the governing Liberal-National Coalition of Prime Minster Tony Abbott would be allowed to vote with their consciences on the issue but this is the first time he has put a timetable on it.

Turnbull made the comments to the Daily Telegraph, ahead of the start of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival, telling the newspaper that the notion that marriage was only for heterosexual couples was ‘getting less right every day.’

‘I think the arguments against it are not very persuasive,' he said, adding that he respected those who held a different view for religious reasons.

‘I perfectly respect religious arguments,’ Turnbull said.

‘But you know something, there are a very large percentage of marriages perfectly legally contracted under federal legislation, that wouldn't be regarded as legitimate by every priest and rabbi in the country and that's a matter for them.’

Turnbull’s electorate of Wentworth is considered to be the gayest electorate in the whole of Australia.

Turnbull was leader of the Liberal Party in Opposition before being toppled by Abbott in a leadership contest.

GSN is a proud supporter of the 2014 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival for the second year running as its Global News Supporter

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