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Australian Government To Hold Conscience Vote On Same-Sex Marriage

Australia is likely to allow a conscience vote on same-sex marriage later this year, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.

LeyonhjelmLiberal Democratic Party Senator David Leyonhjelm announced in July that he intended to introduce a draft bill to legalize same-sex marriage, which is likely to be put before the House of Representatives this month or next.

This would be the first time Australian MPs have a conscience vote on the issue after Labor made the decision in 2011 to support same-sex marriage.

Fulfilling a pre-election promise by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the Liberal Party is likely to advocate for a conscience vote during the next session of parliament.

Last Sunday, the New South Wales Labor conference voted to support same-sex marriage but rejected a proposal by 352 votes to 284 to bind its federal MPs to vote in favor.

However, Leyonhjelm has said that he is not making any assumptions regarding the outcome of a conscience vote. A number of Liberal backbenchers said their ''gut feeling'' is that such a vote would be narrowly defeated. Most National Party MPs are expected to vote against same-sex marriage.

Last December, Australian Capital Territory's (ACT) same-sex marriage law was struck down by the country's highest court and the marriages that had taken place since it went into effect were annulled. The ACT marriage equality bill had been passed the previous October.

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  1. A 'conscience' vote by a gang of Australian , mostly male, macho worshipping MP's !!!!!

    At least you started my morning with a laugh, Jim.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Aug 5, 2014 9:10:17 AM


  2. The ruling party in Australia is the Liberal Party. The Liberal Democratic Party is a different party that has only one senator, David Leyonhjelm. Maybe Leyonhjelm is right about the voting intentions of Liberal MPs, but he is from a different party.

    Posted by: AG | Aug 5, 2014 11:15:44 AM


  3. Here's my dumb question of the day: what is a conscience vote? Is it binding?

    Posted by: jamal49 | Aug 5, 2014 11:39:57 AM


  4. Jamal49: in a parliamentary system, MPs are usually expected to vote as the party does. When a party leader allows a conscience vote, MPs can vote as they like, without incurring the wrath of the party whip.

    Posted by: Mmmm | Aug 5, 2014 12:08:06 PM


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