LABOR INCREASES PRESSURE ON ABBOTT TO ALLOW FREE VOTE

Marriage equality advocates say marriage equality can be achieved through a cross-party conscience vote during this term of government following today’s decision by the Labor National Conference not to bind its members to vote for the reform.

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said,

“By deciding not to bind Labor MPs to vote for marriage equality, the Labor Party has increased pressure on Tony Abbott to ensure Coalition MPs are not bound to vote against it.”

“We believe marriage equality is achievable in this term of government through a cross-party conscience vote so our campaign will continue to be directed towards the Coalition allowing a free vote and getting the numbers on the floor of parliament.”

“We urge supporters of marriage equality in the Coalition to carry the issue forward in their party room and we urge the Prime Minister to stick to his pre-election commitment of allowing the party room to debate a free vote.”

The Labor Party national conference has decided to retain its current policy of a conscience vote for this term of government and the next one, with a binding vote not possible until at least 2019.