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Gay marriage bill defeated in Australian House of Representatives

Gay marriage bill defeated in Australian House of Representatives

A vote on legalizing same-sex marriage in Australia has been defeated in the House of Representatives.

Forty-two MPs voted in favour and 98 against Labor MP Stephen Jones’ Private Members Bill.

Jones told marriage equality supporters to ‘maintain your rage’.

Both the prime minister Julia Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbott, plus former prime minister Kevin Rudd, voted against the bill.

Supporters included Attorney General Nicola Roxon, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese and Parliamentary Secretary for Higher Education and Skills Sharon Bird.

Australian Marriage Equality national convener Alex Greenwich, who has campaigned tirelessly for this vote to go the other way, said:

‘Even though the House of Representatives has voted down marriage equality 98 to 42, more MPs have chosen the right side of history than ever before and we are confident support will only grow.
‘The reasoned speeches in favour, and the extremist statements against, will help to ensure the next time this issue is voted on there will be far more support for equality.’

News today that a cross-party group of MPs in New South Wales will work together to bring marriage equality to the state was welcomed by Greenwich:

‘Now the federal parliament has effectively brushed the wishes of a majority of Australians aside, the states and territories will take the lead, making me confident we will see same-sex marriages performed somewhere in Australia by the end of the year.’

Similar moves are being planned by state-level politicians in Tasmania, the ACT, South Australia and Western Australia.

A vote in the federal Senate is expected later today but is not likely to have enough support to pass.