Malcolm Turnbull predicts conscience vote on marriage equality
Liberal Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has called for a conscience vote on same-sex marriage and said he hopes the Prime Minister will allow a free vote when the Greens reintroduce a Same-Sex Marriage Bill to parliament in the coming weeks.
"As to whether there would be a majority in favour of same-sex marriage in the House of Representatives and the Senate, I don't know," he told Network Ten.
In light of Turnbull’s comments, marriage equality advocates are stepping up their campaign to enlist support for marriage equality.
Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said he is encouraged by Turnbull’s comments that a conscience vote on marriage equality may be possible in the future.
"Given the election of a number of federal Coalition MPs who support marriage equality, plus polls showing almost 80% support among Coalition voters for a conscience vote, allowing such a vote is the right thing to do,” said Croome.
"We have two main aims before the end of the year: laying the foundation for a cross-party working group and introducing new MPs to key voices in the debate including clergy, psychologists and parents who support reform."
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson Young believes Australia could achieve marriage equality if all parties work together to make it happen. “The Greens will be reintroducing a marriage equality bill into the Senate once Parliament resumes and will be seeking co-sponsors for that bill from all parties,” said Hanson Young.
“Establishing a cross-party working group on marriage equality will help to bring supporters together and boost the chances of passing this essential reform. Support for marriage equality has already crossed party lines. It’s not about ideology, it’s about equality and people from all sides of politics have recognised that in recent years.”