Australia’s youngest MP to defy rules and vote for gay marriage
The youngest MP in Australia has voiced his intention to defy Tony Abbott, and vote for same-sex marriage.
The 25-year-old Queensland MP for Longman Wyatt Roy, said he would defy a vote earlier this week by the party room, which denied coalition MPs a free vote on the issue.
Speaking to BuzzFeed News, Roy said, despite being socially conservative, he had always intended to vote for equal marriage, an that his intention was still there.
Denying claims made by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, that same-sex marriage should go to a referendum, Roy said it was something “Parliament can deal with”.
“I’m from a very socially conservative Queensland electorate but I told my constituents when I was first elected, I’m for same sex marriage and nothing will change that,” he said.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott yesterday 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 Abbott – a strong opponent of same-sex marriage – has banned his coalition MPs from voting in favour.
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It was confirmed on Tuesday 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.