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Australia’s first Muslim MP backs campaign to legalize gay marriage

Australia’s first Muslim MP backs campaign to legalize gay marriage

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.

‘I’d always maintained a position that I didn’t detect a mood to change the Marriage Act in our area,’ Husic told the Sydney Morning Herald earlier today, ‘It’s why I didn’t vote in favor for it previously.’

‘[However] constituents [began to] ask, “Why can’t you support us in the things we want to do in our lives?” These situations made me think deeply about the issue and if there was no logical reason to prevent this change, why stand in the way of it?’

‘Ultimately, government should be about empowering people to pursue the things important to them in their lives. That’s why I will support marriage equality in any future vote on this matter.’

However Husic rejected calls for the Australian Labor Party to bind all its members to vote in favor of the reform – even though it has been part of his party’s platform since before the election that brought him to parliament.

Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek has been pushing for her party to adopt a binding vote on the issue and that is expected to come to a head at the party’s national conference in July of this year.