Australian minister apologises for ‘unhelpful’ comments that gay marriage would happen ‘soon’
An Australian Minister who said that same-sex marriage would happen “soon” has apologised for the comments which caused rifts within his own party.
Christopher Pyne was secretly recorded saying same-sex marriage would be delivered “sooner than anyone thinks”.
This is despite Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s insistance on a plebiscite to decide the issue.
The Minister for Defence Industry and Leader of the House Pyne has now apologised, saying he is “very sorry” for the “unhelpful” comments made on Friday.
Since the comments, made to Liberal colleagues, Pyne has faced calls to step down and Turbull has been urged to drop him as Leader of the House.
“My remarks were ill-chosen and unwise and I can see how unhelpful and damaging they have been,” Pyne has now said.
He added: “The truth is, Malcolm Turnbull runs a tight-knit, traditional cabinet government that is inclusive of all strands of thought across the party.”
Front bench colleagues of Pyne’s, Treasurer Scott Morrison and Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion have laughed off assertions that Pyne should be sacked.
“This is nonsense, seriously,” Mr Morrison said.
Turnbull has also dismissed suggestions that there is infighting within his party, saying it is “the media’s fascination with personalities”.
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“Australians are bored, fed up with journalists and politicians talking among themselves,” he said.
“They’re not interested in the personalities among politicians. They want to know what they’re doing.”
Right-wing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull refuses to permit a free Parliamentary vote on equal marriage, while pro-LGBT opposition parties ensured the defeat of plans to put proposals to a public vote.
And he caused controversy when he urged people not to condemn anti-gay tennis star Margaret Court for her views, and instead celebrate her tennis achievements.