Just five Government MPs turned up to see Australia’s latest same-sex marriage bill be introduced
Just five of Australia’s Coalition Government MPs turned out this morning to see a Private Members Bill to introduce same-sex marriage be brought forward.
The leader of Australia’s Labor Party, currently in opposition, Bill Shorten, this morning introduced a bill in Parliament to legalise same-sex marriage.
It will attempt to put pressure on the Australian Government to legalise same-sex marriage sooner, not later.
Introducing the bill, Mr Shorten said: “The laws of our nation should give us hope. Our laws should tell our children what we believe. Our laws should tell strangers who Australians are.”
However, the debate was fairly one sided, as only five out of ninety Government MPs turned up to hear the introduction of the bill.
The Government benches looked all but open as Mr Shorten said “It is time,” to applause from the Opposition side.
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Moves to legalise same-sex marriage have been met with strong opposition by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Speaking on Monday, Mr Abbott said he did not want a vote on same-sex marriage to distract from legislation to help small businesses.
“I accept that same-sex marriage is a significant issue,” he said, speaking to reporters.
“But frankly, this government’s absolute fundamental priority … is to get the most urgent budget measures through and by far the most urgent budget measure is the small business budget boost,” Mr Abbott continued.
Civil rights activist Professor Kerryn Phillips on Monday tweeted to suggest the move might backfire on the Government, saying: “Curious tactic. May be intended as a slight to
@billshortenmp but comes across as a slight to #LGBT #auspol“.
Mr Abbott, the leader of the Liberal Party, is a staunch opponent of same-sex marriage despite overwhelming public support – and has consistently ducked calls to give his MPs a free vote on the issue.
Mr Abbott’s out lesbian sister, however, has predicted that the country will have same-sex marriage by the end of the year.