New Push for Equal Marriage Before General Election Greens have relaunched their marriage equality bill in federal parliament, putting renewed pressure on Tony Abbott to say if he will live up to his newly-minted ‘kinder, gentler’ approach to gay issues flagged in his recent TV interview.

They want to know if Mr Abbott’s pledge to separate his religion from his politics is real, or just more spin. They also want to ensure that marriage equality remains an election issue.

The Age reports that Greens deputy leader Adam Bandt has secured debating time in the House of Representatives next Monday for his bill establishing equal marriage rights for same-sex couples.

Australian Marriage Equality’s Rodney Croome says Australian MPs will meet with the adult children of same-sex couples next week.

“Children raised by same-sex couples have an important story to tell about how they and their families would have benefitted if their parents had had the option of marriage”, Mr Croome said.
“Children of same-sex couples are best placed to explode one of the key objections to marriage equality, that gay people can’t or shouldn’t raise children.”
“This is the first time adult children of same-sex couples have spoken to MPs and our hope is it will change minds and hearts.”
Mr Croome added
“The majority of Australians who support marriage equality want the Coalition to allow a conscience vote, and a vote on this Bill before the election gives the Coalition another chance to make this commitment.”
“Tony Abbott has nothing to fear from allowing a conscience vote and a lot to gain, particularly among young voters for whom this is a signature issue.”
“A conscience vote is consistent with Liberal Party values like individual freedom and has growing support within the Coalition, including from the Young Liberals and from respected state Liberal premiers like Colin Barnett and Barry O’Farrell.”

Yesterday the New Zealand parliament voted for marriage equality by an overwhelming majority, setting the scene for victory in the third and final vote. Conservative gay marriage advocates think the pressure may be counterproductive, arguing that the Coalition needs more time to ‘evolve’ on the issue.

There have been persistent rumours in recent weeks that Tony Abbott is about to support gay marriage, or at the very least, a conscience vote on the issue.

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)