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Leading Australian Government MP: ‘we will vote with our consciences on gay marriage before year’s end’

Leading Australian Government MP: ‘we will vote with our consciences on gay marriage before 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.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has repeatedly said that it will be up to his party room when and whether his MPs will be able to vote with their personal views on the issue – though he remains personally opposed to the reform.

The Liberal’s party room had been expected to debate the issue when it met in March after Liberal Democratic Party Senator David Leyonhjelm planned to move his bill for same-sex marriage forward but the issue never came up.

But Turnbull says it will definitely happen this year.

Turnbull had been attending the forum at Penrith’s Peachtree Hotel in outer Sydney with local Liberal member Fiona Scott who said she intended to reflect the views of her electorate when she vote on same-sex marriage.

Local marriage equality advocate Wayne Chilver who was at the forum at the Peachtree Hotel on Thursday night said 70 to 80 of the 100 people present raised their hands when Scott asked who supported same-sex couples being allowed to marry.

‘It was great to see such strong support in an audience that represented a cross-section of the Penrith community,’ Chilver said.

‘I hope Fiona Scott listens to community forums like this and votes for marriage equality when the time comes.’

Scott’s electorate of Lindsay is being targeted by marriage equality advocates through series of forums, workshops and public stalls with more to come.

‘Penrith is an inclusive community and so far we have found strong support for marriage equality,’ Chilver said.

‘Our aim is to demonstrate this strong community support to Fiona Scott so she, in turn, supports this overdue reform.’