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Thousands of Australians take to the streets to rally for gay marriage ahead of 2 July election

Joseph McCormick June 25, 2016

Thousands of Australians took to the streets on Saturday ahead of the election on 2 July.

Demonstrators hoped to urge whichever party wins the national election next week, will legislate for same-sex marriage.

The Conservative Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull after insisting on a public vote or plebiscite for same-sex marriage, as promised by his predecessor Tony Abbott.

Mr Turnbull this week insisted that same-sex marriage legislation will “sail” through parliament, confirming for the first time that MPs would have a free vote on the issue.

The opposition Labour Party had pledged to introduce legislation for same-sex marriage within 100 days of winning the election, if successful.

Polls suggest the Conservative coalition and the Labour party are on even footing ahead of the election.

Thousands took to the streets in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, carrying rainbow flags and placards.

The coalition have promised the plebiscite if they are re-elected in next month’s elections.

Turnbull said that he could not just hold a parliamentary vote on equal marriage because “he is not a dictator” – so a public vote is being held.

Labour have criticised the move calling it expensive and pointless. The vote is estimated to cost $160 million of taxpayers money.

The liberal party remains divided on equality issues and Turnbull himself has been a vague supporter of equal marriage.

He previously came under fire for removing LGBT content from a sex education campaign.

More: Australia, Australia, malcolm turnbull

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