Australia’s parliament rejects plebiscite on same-sex marriage

November 7, 2016 9:00 pm

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks at a press conference in capital, Canberra, on May 8, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

’s parliament has rejected the government’s bid to hold a national vote on the legalization of same-sex marriage in the country.
On Monday, the upper house Senate in Australia voted 33 to 29 against the proposal to hold a plebiscite on the issue that had been initially scheduled for February next year.
This is while the Australian center-right coalition government, led by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, voted in August to take the controversial issue to a national poll, warning that a defeat would delay same-sex marriage in the country for years.
The opposition has demanded a direct vote in parliament.
The bill to allow same-sex marriage has been introduced by Australian Attorney General George Brandis.
In October, Australia’s Labor Party which wants same-sex marriages legalized by the parliament, vowed to block the plebiscite, saying, “This country does not have the right in a plebiscite to pass judgment on the marriages and relationships of some of our fellow Australians.”
“It is not what Australia is about. We could make marriage equality a reality today by having a free vote in the parliament and that is what should be done,” it further noted.
Same-sex marriage is supported by 61 percent of Australians, according to a Gallup poll in August.
In most Australian states, same-sex couples can have civil unions or register their relationships, but the government does not consider them married under national law.
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