Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott defeated a same-sex marriage bill proposal on Monday.
Tony Abbott – the fiercely anti-gay marriage Prime Minister of Australia – vetoed an equal marriage bill proposed by the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten.
This is likely to cause tension between Abbott and his sister, Christine Forster. Tony Abbott’s sister is a lesbian, a Sydney city councillor and a member of her brother’s Liberal Party.
Last week, Forster criticised Abbott on his same-sex marriage position, admitting that she would lobby him on the topic.
“I hope the party room tells him that they very firmly believe it’s a conscience issue, and he will abide by what they tell him.”
On Monday, the Prime Minister disclosed that no MP from his ruling Liberal party would co-sponsor the private member’s bill brought forward by Shorten.
Shorten had hoped Ireland’s referendum would allow his bill to gain momentum: “I don’t want us to delay any longer, this can be a historic step forward. Millions of Australians have waited long enough for this moment of justice and inclusion.”
Speaking in Sydney, Tony Abbott claimed that his budget is a bigger priority to the government than marriage equality: “I’ve made it very clear that, while this is an important issue, the government has an absolute focus right now on getting the budget measures through parliament.”
Earlier this week, a political advisor went on a bizarre anti-Irish rant on Australian television, following Ireland’s marriage referendum win.
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