Even this conservative ‘redneck’ MP wants gay marriage in Australia
This conservative Australian MP, who has been a crocodile farmer, a bull catcher, and has served in the Air Force, has announced he will introduce a bill to legalise equal marriage.
Outback MP Warren Entsch, said he had faced calls to voice his support for same-sex marriage, and that he thinks the fact that he comes from a “red neck” area, and isn’t your typical advocate, gives his bill strength.
The 65-year-old represents Leichhardt in Queensland.
“I’m the least likely advocate and so people can’t say it’s just some gay person pushing his own agenda,” he says.
On Tuesday he gave formal notice that he will introduce a cross-party sponsored private member’s bill to legalise same-sex marriage.
Speaking ahead of a party room meeting, during which both sides of the coalition government voted against a free vote for MPs on the issue, he said: “I get calls from families and friends of gay people saying if a ‘far north Queensland crocodile-farming, bull-catching Liberal’ can stand up for the rights of my gay friend or relative, then I want to come out and do it too.”
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott earlier today declared he will sack any ministers who defy him and vote in favour of same-sex marriage.
A number same-sex marriage bills are heading to the Australian Parliament this month – but Liberal Prime Minister Tony Abbott – a strong opponent of same-sex marriage – has banned his coalition MPs from voting in favour.
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It was confirmed yesterday that Abbott’s ruling coalition voted by 66 to 33 in favour of banning coalition MPs from voting for equality – ordering them to follow party line and oppose same-sex marriage.
Labor leader Bill Shorten has slammed Mr Abbott for his position on the issue.
Mr Shorten reacted: “Millions of Australians will have woken up this morning bitterly disappointed with Tony Abbott.”
“The choice in this country is clear – you either have Tony Abbott or you have marriage equality, you can’t have both.”
Following the revelation, Labor MP Tim Watts tossed out his carefully prepared speech to lay into the government.