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Content about Government of Australia

June 9, 2015

Gippsland MP Darren Chester has become the first from his party to announce he would vote to legalize same-sex marriage if given the opportunity to

The Australian Nationals party has had its first sitting MP announce they support marriage equality coming to Australia.

Gippsland MP Darren Chester only went public with his support on the issue today, telling ABC TV’s 7.30 Report that the reform was no longer controversial in his rural electorate.

June 1, 2015

'It is time'

Australian opposition leader Bill Shorten Monday (1 June) introduced legislation to legalize gay marriage.

The private member's bill would replace the words 'man and woman' with 'two people.'

'It is time. The right time to make marriage equality a reality,' the Labor party leader told the lower house.

Shorten said his legislation sent the following message to young LGBTI Australians, two out of five, he noted, have thought about self-harm or suicide: 'We are proud of you, for who you are. You belong.'

May 31, 2015

PM Tony Abbott's lesbian sister Christine Forster supports marriage equality, calls for bipartisan approach

Thousands gathered at Taylor Square, Sydney on Sunday afternoon to call on the government to allow lawmakers a free vote when Labor's same-sex marriage bill is introduced to federal parliament on Monday.

Opposition and Labor party leader Bill Shorten become the first major-party leader in the country to put his name to a marriage equality bill.

He had formally given notice of a private member's bill to propose an Act to amend the Marriage Act 1961 that will define marriage as a union 'of two people' rather than a 'man and woman.'

May 29, 2015

'Reform is inevitable in a developed Western democracy like Australia'

The lesbian sister of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said she is confident that gay marriage will come to the country by the end of the year.

Christine Forster, who proposed to her partner in 2013, said after the Irish referendum, reform was 'inevitable in a developed Western democracy like Australia.'

May 28, 2015

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that if same-sex marriage were to be legalized by the Australian Parliament it should be done in a way so that no one party owned the reform – so that’s exactly what a group of MPs are now working towards

Australian Government MP Warren Entsch and Opposition MP Graham Perrett have announced that they will co-sponsor a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Australia and will seek the endorsement of lawmakers from other parties in the Parliament so that it is as non-partisan as possible.

Entsch and Perrett announced their plans after Prime Minister Tony Abbott told the Parliament during Question Time that were same-sex marriage legalized it should be done in a non-partisan way – so Entsch and Perrett intend to present the Prime Minister with exactly that scenario.

May 27, 2015

With Labor MP Anna Burke declaring her support for same-sex marriage and another in the Senate declaring his support the Australian Parliament is now as close to majority support for the reform than it has ever been

The campaign for marriage equality in Australia believes it is just one MP short of securing the passage of a same-sex marriage bill in the House of Representatives and that it already has the support of the majority in the Senate.

A day after Labor Opposition leader Bill Shorten announced he would be moving a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, Labor MP Anna Burke announced she too was now a supporter of the reform.

May 26, 2015

Australian Labor Party leader Bill Shorten has given formal notice he will move a bill to legalize same-sex marriage at the next sitting of the House of Representatives on Monday

Australian Opposition leader Bill Shorten has become the first leader of a major political party to put forward legislation to allow same-sex marriage in Australia just days after more members of the conservative wing of his party announced they now would vote in favor of marriage equality.

May 24, 2015

'Referendums are held in this country where there's a proposal to change the constitution'

The Australian Prime Minister has dismissed the idea of his country holding a referendum on same-sex marriage after Ireland’s historic vote on 23 May.

Tony Abbott acknowledged it was important to millions of Australians and said he was taking the matter seriously, but marriage equality would be dealt with by the Federal Parliament.

‘Referendums are held in this country where there's a proposal to change the constitution,‘ he told reporters in Brisbane this morning.

May 5, 2015

Labor MP Ed Husic became the first Muslim to be elected to the Australian Parliament in 2010 and earlier today he went public with his support for the legalization of same-sex marriage in Australia

Australia’s most prominent Muslim lawmaker today went public with his support for same-sex marriage.

Born to a Bosnian Muslim family in 1970, Ed Husic became the first member of his faith community to be elected to the Australian Parliament 40 years later during the 2010 election which saw former Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard retain power.

Husic had previously opposed same-sex marriage but now says privately he didn’t really have an issue with it as a moderate Muslim and that he was just waiting for the mood in his electorate to catch up.

May 5, 2015

Diplomat's boyfriend is told to wait in car instead of greeting PM

Australia's openly gay ambassador to France offered his resignation after Prime Minister Tony Abbott snubbed his partner in Paris.

Stephen Brady and his partner of 32 years, Peter Stephens, were waiting to receive the PM on the airport tarmac at around 7pm on Anzac Day (25 April).

But prime minister's traveling party sent instruction that Stephens should not take part in the greeting but wait in the car. No explanation was given and the diplomat refused to comply.

April 30, 2015

Bill Shorten has distanced himself from calls by Labor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek for all of the party’s lawmakers to be compelled to vote for legalizing same-sex marriage whether they agree with the reform or not

Australian Labor Party (ALP) leader Bill Shorten has distanced himself from a campaign by his deputy leader to have the next ALP national conference decide to bind all Labor lawmakers to vote in favor of same-sex marriage.

The 2011 conference voted to add same-sex marriage to the party’s platform but in order to appease conservative ALP members, gave federal Labor lawmakers a guaranteed conscience vote on the issue if it comes up for a vote.

April 27, 2015

'It is a clear question. Do we support legal discrimination against one group in this country? Or do we not?'

The acting leader of Australia's ruling party has said she will push to make it compulsory that all Labor MPs vote for gay marriage.

Tanya Plibersek will argue for a binding vote on marriage equality at the Labor National Conference in July.

The party changed its policy to support gay marriage at the 2011 conference but allowed its parliamentarians a free vote on the issue.

'Labor has always been a party that is opposed to discrimination,' she told Fairfax Media.

April 20, 2015

Australian Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull has told a community forum on same-sex marriage that he expects that Government MPs will be allowed to vote with their consciences on the issue and that a vote will come before the year’s end

Australian lawmakers will get another chance to get it right on marriage equality before the end of the year according to one of the most senior members of the Australian Government.

Australian Communications Minister and Liberal Member for Wentworth Malcolm Turnbull reportedly told a community forum on marriage equality on Thursday that he fully expects another vote on same-sex marriage in the Australian Parliament before the end of the year and that he and his colleagues will be given a conscience vote on the issue.

April 4, 2015

The Australian Marriage Forum ran commercials in which they likened gay marriage to single mothers being forced to give up their babies by the state and warned of a ‘motherless generation’ due to gay men becoming parents

Australia’s former Prime Minister Julia Gillard has asked for the anti-gay Australian Marriage Forum to apologize for linking her 2013 official apology to victims of forced adoption in Australia to their campaign to stop same-sex couples from being allowed to get married.

March 19, 2015

Australian lawmakers will debate a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage for the third time in five years next Thursday amid hopes Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott will finally allow his MPs to vote with their consciences on the issue

Liberal Democratic Party Senator David Leyonhjelm today announced his Freedom to Marry Bill will return for debate in the Australian Senate as soon as next Thursday.

In doing so, Senator Leyonhjelm called on Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to allow his MPs and senators a conscience vote on the issue.

Abbott has said in the past that his MPs would get a conscience vote on the issue when his party room decided they should and Leyonhjelm believes there is enough support amongst members of the ruling Liberal-National Coalition for that to occur.

March 18, 2015

Ruling coalition votes against the motion

Australia's national Senate has supported a motion calling on all parties to allow a conscience vote on gay marriage.

The motion, proposed by Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young, passed the upper house where opposition parties have the majority. The ruling Liberal-National coalition voted against.

'[Prime Minister] Tony Abbott should lift the gag on his MPs and let them vote freely on the issue of marriage equality. There's nothing to be afraid of,' she wrote on Twitter.

February 19, 2015

New South Wales politician voted against same-sex marriage in 2013

The opposition leader in New South Wales has u-turned on gay marriage after voting against reform in the Australian state in 2013.

On becoming Labor leader in January, Luke Foley said he would keep 'an open mind' and 'continue to reflect' on the issue, which cynics saw as a non-commital halfway ground ahead of the March elections.

But today, the practising Catholic spoke in favor of overturning a federal ban on gay marriage.

December 2, 2014

Prime Minister Tony Abbott backs away from his election promise to allow a conscience vote on marriage equality

An Australian senator yesterday threatened to block legislation if the prime minister breaks his election promise to allow a conscience vote on gay marriage.

Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm introduced a private bill to legalize gay marriage in parliament last week.

November 26, 2014

'I think people ought to have the freedom to choose their own life path'

Australian Senator David Leyonhjelm today (26 November) introduced his long-awaited gay marriage bill in parliament.

The straight Liberal Democrat told the upper house that he supported gay marriage 'because I think people ought to have the freedom to choose their own life path.'

'To most people, marriage equality means the right to get married irrespective of gender or sexual preference,' he said.

'But it is much more than that; it is the right to live your life as you choose and not have the government impose a particular view on you.'

October 21, 2014

Gough Whitlam, who lead the Australian Government from 1972 to 1975 and was one of the first Labor Party leaders to champion the rights of gays and lesbians, passed away this morning aged 98

One of the first major Australian political figures to champion equal rights for gays and lesbians has passed away this morning, aged 98.

Gough Whitlam was leader of the Australian Labor Party from 1967 to 1977 and Australia’s prime minister from 1972 to 1975 – a period of incredible reform for Australia before his government was dismissed to end a constitutional crisis.

September 22, 2014

During her time as PM, she was opposed to the 'redefinition of the traditional notion of marriage'

Julia Gillard has accepted same-sex marriage will one day happen in Australia.

The former Labor prime minister opposes same-sex marriage, maintaining she believes in the 'traditional' definition of the union.

But in a new interview, she admits her views are 'old fashioned' and that marriage equality is an inevitability in the developed world.

August 29, 2014

All but one Australian Government lawmakers have pulled out of attending the anti-gay, anti-abortion World Congress of Families conference scheduled for tomorrow in Melbourne after the event struggled to find a venue over its controversial views

Australian Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews has pulled out of opening and closing the controversial World Congress of Families conference in Melbourne after it was announced the event would be hosted by the controversial Catch the Fire Ministries church after at least four other venues turned organizers away.

Controversial Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi, who has in the past said that same-sex marriage could lead to group marriage and the legalization of bestiality, has also pulled out of attending the event.

August 5, 2014

The 8-year-old niece of a gay couple who are the subject of a new reality show has threatened to write to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott every day this week if he does not legalize same-sex marriage

An 8-year-old Australian girl has started a letter writing campaign to Prime Minister Tony Abbott in support of her gay uncles being allowed to get married, and says she will write to him every day this week.

‘To Tony Abbott, my name is Abbey and I am 8 years old,’ she writes.

‘My unkls are gaye and we had to go to New Zeland to have ther wedding. It is going to be on TV it’s called Living with the Enemy they wont to get marred in Astralea but that’s eligle. I will write to you once a day for a week. P.S. I wold like the law changed. [sic throughout]’

August 4, 2014

Australian lawmakers will again vote on a bill to legalize same-sex marriage and unlike last time it’s looking very likely that government MPs will have a conscience vote on the issue

Australian lawmakers will once again vote on legislation that would see same-sex couples be allowed to marry across Australia and reports indicate it is likely that MPs from the ruling Liberal-National Coalition will be allowed to vote with their consciences.

Fairfax newspapers over the weekend published articles in which several unnamed Liberal MPs said they believed the party room would decide in favor of a conscience vote - including one who is opposed to same-sex marriage.