This week, Australia may just join the civilised world as one of Australia’s two Houses of Parliament will be voting on the gay marriage bill this week.
Assuming that the Australian Labor Party agrees to use it’s senators private time to consider the bill, the bill will be debated and voted on Thursday.
As you may know, both the Labor and Green party (who authored the bill in question) both support same-sex marriage in their party platforms, even though Labor party members lawmakers have yet to be bound by their party to vote on it.
Currently, the lawmakers from the current Liberal-National Coalition government of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull haven’t been given a “conscience vote” and their party platform is sadly opposed to marriage equality.
However, Liberal-National members who are not part of the cabinet could cross the floor to vote in favour of same-sex marriage. But most of the prominent supporters currently in the Australian Government are in the cabinet and won’t be able to do so without the permission of the Prime Minister.
There is a chance Turnbull may allow it, as he does personally support same-sex marriage but wants the Australian people to vote on it before Parliament settles the issue. This stance has drawn criticism as it has been estimated that this poll could cost as much as half a billion dollars.
The Greens are hoping that Turnbull and other moderates within the government will be able to persuade their party room to allow all senators a conscience vote, so that the Senate can pass the bill and then send it to the House of Representatives. It must then be passed by the HoR in order to become law.
Greens LGBTI issues spokesman Senator Robert Simms said: “Over the next 48 hours we hope Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will reconsider his position and finally grant his party a free vote so marriage equality can become a reality.”