A group of MPs from various Australian political parties are poised to legalise same-sex marriage in August.
The bill, which is co-sponsored by Liberal MP Warren Entsch and Labour MP Terri Butler, will rule out chaplains and ministers from being forced to perform same-sex weddings. It could be introduced into the house as soon as August.
We are expecting that once the bill is brought to the house, a debate will follow on whether or not parties should give their MPs and Senators a conscience vote on the issue. It has been reported that the wording of the bill actually removes the definition of marriage as “one man and one woman” and replaced it will “two people”.
What is slightly worrying, though, is that according to Ms Butler, the fate of the bill rests with the Prime Minister Tony Abbott, and whether or not he allows his party a free vote on the issue. As I’m sure you all know, Abbott is anti-gay marriage, and the US Supreme Court ruling has not changed his stance.
Ms Butler had this to say regarding the issue: “The prospects of success depend on what Tony Abbott does. If Tony Abbott offers his party room a free vote, then it has good prospects. If he doesn’t, it doesn’t.”