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Australia’s Parliament is now only five declared votes short of passing gay marriage

Australia’s Parliament is now only five declared votes short of passing gay marriage

The Australian Parliament is now officially only five votes short of having the numbers to legalize gay marriage, with many MPs still not on the record about how they would vote if legislation was to come before them.

The ‘Yes’ campaign Australian Marriage Equality (AME) today announced they had won the support of Queensland MP and Shadow Minister for Aging and Indigenous Affairs Shane Neumann, who is the federal member for the seat of Blair in the Australian House of Representatives.

The House of Representatives has 150 members so it takes at least 76 members to pass any reform.

AME believe there is already majority support for the reform in the Australian Senate so it would only take another five MPs to go public with their support to know that it is certain that Australia will join its international peers in legalizing same-sex marriage.

Over 70 percent of the Australian voting public support the legalization of same-sex marriage but the Australian Government plans to have them vote in a non-legally binding plebiscite on the issue that will cost taxpayers at least $160 million to delay the reform to placate its conservative opponents.

‘Across the nation MPs are listening to the personal stories of their constituents and realizing why marriage equality matters,’ AME national director Rodney Croome said earlier today, ‘With Shayne Neumann’s support we are now only five votes short of a majority in parliament.’

“A vote in parliament will be quicker and cheaper than a plebiscite and we hope to have the numbers to achieve marriage equality in 2016. This is important because, regardless of a plebiscite, only parliament can amend the Marriage Act.’

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said he will only allow a plebiscite to take place after the next election if his government is returned to power.

The Labor and Greens parties now in Opposition say they will make it a priority to pass the reform if Turnbull’s Liberal-National Coalition loses power at the election.