Two Liberal MPs are set to introduce a gay marriage bill to the Australian parliament next month, despite PM Tony Abbott’s opposition.
A cross party bill, sponsored by long-time LGBTI advocate and Liberal MP Warren Entsch along with fellow Liberal Teresa Gambaro, will be brought to the parliament on August 11. Gambaro and Entsch would then have to seek support from colleagues for a free vote on the matter.
The bill has been “slightly” altered from Labour’s earlier June 1 bill, this time including a clause that would ensure that chaplains, as well as church ministers, won’t be compelled to preside at same-sex marriages, reports News.com.au.
Ultimately, the bill seeks to change the wording in the Marriage Act to replace “man and woman” with the words “two people”.
However, commentators and Liberal politicians have said there is little chance of the bill succeeding, as a cross-party approach wouldn’t enable either side of the house to take all the credit if legislation is passed, reports Star Observer.com.
“If our Parliament were to make a big decision on a matter such as this, it ought to be owned by the Parliament and not by any particular party,” Opposition leader Bill Shorten said.
“As I’ve consistently said, it’s the outcome that is important here, not whose name is on the Bill. Like millions of Australians, my first and only hope here is that we can make marriage equality a reality.”
“I, like many Australians, woke up to news of Ireland’s referendum and thought ‘if the Irish can do it, so can we’.
“The real obstacle to marriage equality in Australia is Tony Abbott’s refusal to allow a free vote,” he added.
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