An Australian Senator has a plan to break the government deadlock on equal marriage.
Lobbying groups say there is currently a majority of MPs and Senators in favour of equal marriage, but Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has declined to permit his party a free vote on the issue.
Mr Turnbull has instead tabled plans for a plebiscite – a public voting procedure which could potentially stall the issue until 2017 or beyond.
However, one Senator is moving forward with a plan to circumvent the PM on the issue – and force a simple vote in Parliament.
According to 9News, the lone Senator for the Liberal Democratic Party David Leyonhjelm is planning to intervene on Tuesday.
As the Senate sets the timetable for upcoming debates and legislation, Senator Leyonhjelm will attempt to add a bill originally moved by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, putting marriage equality to an immediate Parliamentary vote instead of stalling for a plebiscite.
The Lib Dem says that the vote could bring about equal marriage much sooner, and would also save on the estimated $160 million which a plebiscite would cost.
He said: “The question is whether the Greens will agree to the time management motion – this will be a bit of a test.
“I call on both the Greens and Mr Turnbull to demonstrate the courage of their convictions.”
The Senator would need to unite equal marriage advocates from all parties if the plan is to succeed.