Australia’s ruling coalition blocks free vote for same-sex marriage, effectively quashing chances in Parliament
- Without a sanctioned free vote, party members are not allowed to cast votes that depart from the party line without threat of severe consequences leading up to expulsion.
- Despite a poll from 2014 indicating 72% of Australians support same-sex marriage, socially conservative PM Tony Abbott has blocked multiple attempts to pass a marriage equality bill in Parliament.
- After a rare full-coalition vote that saw Abbott’s Liberal Party outnumbered two to one against allowing a free vote, Abbott indicated that the coalition is open to a public referendum on same-sex marriage rights.
“If you support the existing definition of marriage between a man and a woman, the coalition is absolutely on your side but if you would like to see change at some time in the future, the coalition is prepared to make that potentially possible.”
Read the full story at Reuters.