LGBT+ groups say early Australian election results mean gay marriage battle is won
The Australian federal election proves that marriage equality is inevitable, say LGBT+ groups in the country.
Despite the election having been described as “too close to call”, and could result in a repeat of Malcolm Turnbull’s coalition government, LGBT+ groups say the voting out of at least seven same-sex marriage opponents mean the people have already spoken.
The election, the results of which may not be seen until as late as August, took place this week.
The Coalition MPs who were voted out in their constituencies include Andrew Nikolic, Brett Whiteley, Jamie Briggs, Peter Hendy, Russell Matheson, Michelle Landry and Louise Markus, reports the Guardian.
A spokesperson for Pflag national in Australia ,Shelley Argent, told the Guardian that the number of “pro-equality Labor MPs replacing Liberals who were against [same-sex marriage] there is now a clear majority of members in favour [of it]”.
“A free vote would deliver marriage equality straight away,” she added.
She went on to say that Malcolm Turnbull’s Coalition lost votes over his refusal to let his party have a free vote on the issue, instead opting for a public vote, a plebiscite, like his predecessor Tony Abbott.
“Malcolm Turnbull must acknowledge he has no mandate for a plebiscite and drop the idea,” she said. “If he doesn’t, we will do our best to kill it on the floor of parliament and push for a free vote instead.”
Despite some suggesting that same-sex marriage could still take as many as six years to get through, some have suggested that a hung parliament could lead to the possibility of a private members bill legalising same-sex marriage, regardless of which parties form a government.
The Labor Party has promised to introduce a bill to legalise same-sex marriage if elected, and that party along with the Greens have criticised the idea of a plebiscite, saying it is costly and unnecessary.
The Greens and Labor have said they wouldn’t rule out blocking a motion to hold a plebiscite in parliament.
Opponents of measures for same-sex marriage have already spoken out since Australians took to polling stations.
Senator Cory Bernardi called on his party to delay the promised plebiscite on same-sex marriage, an issue which has been drawn out, asking if equal marriage is a “real issue”.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull could return with the coalition government – he promised the vote after taking over as Prime Minister last year when predecessor Tony Abbott was ousted.
The coalition have promised the plebiscite if they are re-elected in the election.
Turnbull said that he could not just hold a parliamentary vote on equal marriage because “he is not a dictator”.
Labour has criticised the move calling it expensive and pointless. The vote is estimated to cost $160 million of taxpayers money.
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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.