Young Libs call for conscience vote welcomed
Australian marriage equality advocates have welcomed reports that the Young Liberals will urge the federal party to allow a conscience vote on the issue.
While the outcome of voting at the Young Liberals conference held in Hobart are supposed to be confidential, Victorian member Matthew Lesh tweeted "The @FedYL just passed the motion I proposed in favour of a conscience vote for same-sex marriage in the Liberal Party," the Mercury newspaper reported.
Apparently the motion gained a two-thirds majority.
"Support from the Young Liberals highlights how important this issue is to young Australians and how it is consistent with Liberal values," Australian Marriage Equality national convener Rodney Croome said.
"The Young Liberal motion increases pressure on Tony Abbott to include a conscience vote in this year's Coalition election platform and adds to growing pressure for a conscience vote from within the Coalition and from within Mr Abbott's own family."
Abbott's sister Christine Forster, a Liberal councillor for the City of Sydney, is openly lesbian and in favour of marriage equality.
Several high-profile Coalition members have vocally supported a conscience vote in recent times, including Joe Hockey, George Brandis, Christopher Pyne, Greg Hunt, Malcolm Turnbull, Barry O’Farrell, Simon Birmingham, Barnaby Joyce, Russell Broadbent and Amanda Vanstone.
A recent Galaxy poll showed support for marriage equality running at 64 per cent with more than 80 per cent among young people. A poll in May last year showed 77 per cent of Coalition supporters wanted a conscience vote on the issue.
"If the Coalition is to maximise its vote, particularly among young people, it cannot afford to maintain its blanket opposition to this inevitable and popular reform," Croome said.
"A conscience vote is about personal freedom and marriage equality is about strengthening relationships and families - all things which Liberals should support."
- Tags: Amanda Vanstone, Australian Marriage Equality, Barnaby Joyce, Barry O'Farrell, Blaze, Christine Forster, Christopher Pyne, Conscience vote, gay marriage, George Brandis, Greg Hunt, Hobart, Joe Hockey, Malcolm Turnbull, marriage equality, Matthew Lesh, MCV, Queensland Pride, Rodney Croome, Russell Broadbent, Same-sex Marriage, Simon Birmingham, SX, Tony Abbott, Young Liberals