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Deputy Australian Opposition leader calls for Government MPs to deliver on gay marriage

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 Opposition leader calls for Government MPs to deliver on gay 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.

In the letter, which was seen by The Australian newspaper, she also calls for an Australian Government MP to co-sponsor her bill so that it is introduced into the parliament in a non-partisan way.

‘I would like a Liberal or National MP to co-sponsor the proposed bill in order to ensure that the bill is bipartisan,’ Plibersek wrote.

‘I believe this necessary social change is best brought about by an effort from members of all parties.

‘In particular the support of members of both major parties is crucial to this reform succeeding.’

‘I am aware, as I’m sure you are, that there are members of your party that support marriage equality who would like to be able to vote to reflect their beliefs.

‘The Coalition has always prided itself on allowing members to vote according to their conscience.

‘The Prime Minister should confirm that there will not be any consequences for members who vote against his position.’

Plibersek’s bill would make the wording in Australia’s 1961 Marriage Act gender neutral and also ensure that same-sex marriages that are entered into overseas are recognized as valid marriages in Australia.

It will be up to the Australian Government whether the bill is even debated – let alone voted on as the Liberal-National Coalition holds enough seats to block any debate if it wants to.

However Australia’s Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has repeatedly said he believes Abbott will allow a conscience vote on the issue.

Turnbull was leader of the Liberal-National Coalition before losing to Abbott in a leadership contest.


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