Australia: Greens MP accuses Government of delaying vote on equal marriage bill
A Green Party MP in Australia has accused the Labor Party of delaying a vote on a private members bill to legalise equal marriage.
Adam Bandt MP, also the deputy leader of the Green Party, had hoped his private members bill would go before the lower house on Thursday for a vote, however it is not listed on the schedule.
Parliament will not get a chance to vote on draft laws to legalise equal marriage before the September election.
Mr Bandt has accused Labor and the Coalition Government of deliberately delaying the vote. He said: “It’s disappointing for me and heart-breaking for many others,” speaking to AAP.
“Labor is worried about Kevin Rudd being on one side of the chamber and Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott sitting together on the other side trying to hold back the tide of history.”
A spokesman for the manager of government business Anthony Albanese, said that the debate was ongoing, and that other MPs still wanted a chance to speak.
He continued to say that the Green Party had last year urged for a delay of the vote on the equal marriage bill, tabled by Labor backbencher Stephen Jones, because it did not have enough support. Efforts to legalise equal marriage failed in the Australian Parliament last year.
Following the first same-sex wedding to take place in France last week, Australian advocates of equal marriage are now calling for the recognition of overseas same-sex marriages. Mr Bandt said he hoped the bill would face a vote before the end of June.
Last month Australia’s Liberal Party leader, Tony Abbott, who has voiced opposition to the measure, said he opposed proposals to hold a public vote on equal marriage during September’s federal election.
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