Gay couples are barraging Tony Abbott with wedding invites
Same-sex couples are barraging Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott with wedding invites – as he decides whether to block equal marriage.
A number of bills are set to come before the Australian Parliament next month on the issue, and after the opposition Labor party cemented plans to allow its MPs a free vote, Abbott is under pressure to do the same.
The PM is a strong opponent of equality, but if he gives his Coalition MPs a free vote on the issue, many have signalled they would back the bill.
In order to impress the urgency of the situation, loving couples who are waiting for their chance to legally marry have been sending invites to Mr Abbott.
The website InviteTony helps them write to the leader with wedding invites, as the country waits for him to decide if he will permit same-sex marriage to pass.
It reads: “This month, Prime Minister Tony Abbott will decide if his party can have a conscience vote on Marriage Equality.
“So to show that there are no hard feelings, and to prove just how serious you are, why not set a date for your big day or join a guest list, and we’ll send a save the date card to Tony on your behalf, inviting him to come along and support marriage equality.”
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So far the Prime Minister’s schedule looks very busy – with over 50 couples promising to invite him to their weddings if he allows equality to pass.
One of the couples hoping to marry is Justine Moss and Romy Calati – who are parents to seven-month-old son Edmund, but aren’t legally recognised as spouses.
Ms Moss told Buzzfeed: “I’m not too concerned if he [Abbott] doesn’t believe in same-sex marriage, but he should be allowing his party to have a conscience vote
“I want to see change for Edmund. So he sees that our family is no different to any other family. He is just as important with two mums as he would be with a mother and a father.
“It’s mainly for him that I want to see same-sex marriage legalised. So he sees that our family is legitimate.”
Abbott has not ruled out reported plans to call a plebiscite (referendum) on same-sex marriage, which would kick the issue into the long grass and stall it for several years.
Advocates say that a public vote – which likely wouldn’t take place until after the next election in 2017 – would lead to an unacceptable delay on the issue, when it has clear overwhelming public support and could be resolved by Parliament in 2015.
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