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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.

July 17, 2014

Australian government minister Kevin Andrews will open and close the World Congress of Families next month after it had to be moved from Russia after conflict broke out in the Ukraine

Leading Australian Government figures are endorsing a far-right anti-gay international conference of ‘family vales’ groups being held in Melbourne next month.

The 8th World Congress of Families had originally been scheduled to be held in Moscow but US and European sanctions against Russia over the crisis in the Ukraine forced organizers to hastily reschedule the event for Melbourne.

Conference organizers had praised the Russian government over its treatment of LGBTI people and ban on so-called gay propaganda to minors.

July 14, 2014

Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm has said that he would be willing to give the Australian Government his support for its reintroduction of Temporary Protection Visas for refugees if it allows its MPs a conscience vote on his gay marriage bill

Newly minted libertarian Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm has said he is prepared to trade his vote to the Australian Government to pass one of its planned reforms if Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott allows his MPs to vote with their consciences on his marriage equality bill.

June 10, 2014

Tony Abbott gets burned by an 11-year-old who cannot understand his reasons for refusing to give gay people equal rights

An 11-year-old boy has written a kickass letter to the Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbott to demand support for same-sex marriage.

Orlando Burcham, from Newcastle, New South Wales, has described the socially conservative Liberal party leader as ‘pathetic’.

Read his amazing letter in full here:

‘My name is Orlando Burcham, I am 11 years old and I would like to know why you don’t allow ‘gay marriage’ in Australia

May 7, 2014

Mike Baird, the new Liberal premier of the Australian state of New South Wales, has reiterated his predecessor’s pledge to allow a conscience vote on same-sex marriage for his MPs if the issue comes before the parliament

The new Liberal premier of the Australian state of New South Wales told the state parliament earlier today that he would allow his MPs to vote with their consciences if a bill to legalize state-based same-sex marriages were to come before the parliament.

Premier Mike Baird made the announcement in response to a question from openly gay independent MP for Sydney Alex Greenwich who wanted to know if Baird would make the same commitment on the issue that his predecessor Liberal premier Barry O’Farrell had.

March 15, 2014

Australian PM Tony Abbott stumbled over his response when a high school student asked ‘Why are you so against legalizing gay marriage?’ during a school trip to Canberra

A high school student took advantage of the chance to quiz Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on some of the important issues facing the country by challenging him on his stance on marriage equality.

Students from Newtown High School of the Performing Arts in New South Wales were on a school trip to Government House when the Prime Minister went to talk to them and agreed to answer some questions.

March 10, 2014

Liberal MP and single father Ewen Jones has criticized controversial fellow Liberal Cory Bernardi over his opposition to ‘non-traditional’ families - including those where the parents are in a same-sex relationship

A controversial Australian Government senator who once claimed same-sex marriage would lead to bestiality has been slammed in his party room over his opposition to single parents and gay and lesbian couples raising children.

Senator Cory Bernardi had been praising Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews, another Christian conservative Liberal Party MP, at a party room meeting last week for sharing similar views about non-traditional families in a recent opinion column.

March 3, 2014

Australia’s deputy Opposition leader has called on Liberal and National party MPs in the government to pressure Prime Minister Tony Abbott to allow them a conscience vote and co-sponsor her bill on same-sex marriage

Deputy Australian Labor Party leader and Member for Sydney, Tanya Plibersek, has written to all MPs in the Australian Government to call on them to put pressure on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to allow them a conscience vote on her bill to legalize same-sex marriage.

February 25, 2014

The parliamentary caucus of the opposition Australian Labor Party has backed plans by Sydney Labor MP Tanya Plibersek to introduce a bill to allow same-sex couples to marry

Federal Labor MP for Sydney Tanya Plibersek has announced she has received the backing of her party to move forward with a bill to legalize same-sex marriage and she is now calling for the Australian Government to allow its MPs to vote with their conscience on the issue.

‘Today, the Labor caucus endorsed my proposal to introduce a Bill for marriage equality,’ Plibersek announced earlier today, ‘It’s now up to Tony Abbott to allow his MPs a conscience vote.’