Greens to reintroduce marriage equality bill
The Australian Greens have announced they will reintroduce their marriage equality bill into both houses of parliament when sittings resume next year.
The announcement comes in the wake of developments at the ALP national conference in Sydney today, where Labor delegates voted for a motion allowing MPs a conscience vote on gay marriage.
Greens MP Adam Bandt has indicated he will move amendments to the Marriage Act on the House of Representatives, and will seek co-sponsors from Labor, the Coalition and the cross-bench for the private member’s bill.
Meanwhile, Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young will move for a vote in the Senate.
"It is disappointing that Labor has failed to adopt a position of complete support for marriage equality," Bandt said.
"However, Labor support for a conscience vote provides us with an opportunity to test Parliament's support for marriage equality."
The Greens are now calling on Liberal Leader Tony Abbott to allow Coalition members a conscience vote on the issue.
"Individual members of the Liberal party have a proud history of crossing the floor on important pieces of legislation,” Hanson-Young said.
“I call on members of the Liberal party to exercise the freedom their party gives them on issues they believe in.
Bandt added that Labor’s decision today has placed marriage equality “in the hands of those Coalition members who have the courage to stand by their convictions”.