Senate rejects plebiscite on marriage equality
The Senate today voted against holding a popular plebiscite on marriage equality and urged the Prime Minister to allow a free vote on the issue before the end of the year.
Greens senator Robert Simms (pictured) introduced the motion. Simms is the Greens spokesperson on LGBTI issues and marriage equality.
“Momentum continues to build for marriage equality in this country," Simms said.
"Today the Australian Senate rejected a divisive and costly plebiscite and instead called on the Prime Minister to grant a free vote on marriage equality.”
“Australians don’t want another opinion poll on this issue. They want the Parliament to legislate.”
The motion passed "on the voices" with no precise count taken of who was for or against but a clear majority was in favour of the motion.
The Senate's decision will be communicated to the House of Representatives - although MPs in the lower house are not bound to follow the recommendations of the Senate.
The NSW and WA governments have already rejected the notion of a plebiscite and urged the federal parliament to legislate on the issue.