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No marriage equality vote before general election in Australia

The Labor party and the Liberal party block a vote on gay marriage on 6 June, Australian parliament will not look at the issue again before the general election on 14 September
Australia's House of Representatives where the vote on same-sex marriage would have taken place

Marriage equality advocates in Australia are 'disappointed' that there will be no vote on marriage equality before the general election on 14 September.

Greens MP Adam Bandt had been pushing for a vote on his same-sex marriage bill next week, but the Labor and Liberal parties did not supporting holding a vote at this time.

A vote on a same-sex marriage bill last September was defeated in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

'We are disappointed that the majority of Australians who support marriage equality won't have their voices heard on June 6 as expected,' said Australian Marriage Equality national director Rodney Croome.

The gay marriage campaigner spent the week in the Australian capital of Canberra with national spokesperson for PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) Australian Shelley Argent meeting with politicians.

'Based on our meetings with Labor and Coalition MPs, as well a recent media reports, we know that support for marriage equality is at its highest level ever in parliament's history,' added Croome.

'A number of Coalition MPs also expressed to us their empathic support for a free vote on the issue.'

A later vote means that it is more likely opposition leader Tony Abbott will allow his MPs a free conscience vote on marriage equality. He said that a conscience vote is a matter for the party room to decide after the election, whether he is in government or not.

The results of a poll released yesterday show that four out of five Australians support allowing MPs and senators a conscience vote on gay marriage.

Meanwhile Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young is sponsoring a bill that will mean that same-sex marriages from overseas are recognized in Australia.

In the wake of the the first gay marriages in France, Croome said that it was likely that many Australian couples will go there to marry.

'Given the reputation of Paris a the City of Love, we expect many Australian same-sex couples to travel to France to marry, but their solemn vows of lifelong commitment will count for nothing when they return to Australia,' he said.

'We call on both major parties to support a Bill currently before the Senate to recognize overseas same-sex marriages as marriages in Australian law.' 

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