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New push for Coalition conscience vote
Marriage equality advocates are set to use the web to urge Coalition MPs to pressure Opposition leader Tony Abbott to allow a conscience vote on same-sex marriage.
Australian Marriage Equality (AME) has established a dedicated webform for supporters to email federal Coalition politicians representing their state.
“We need your help to win Coalition support for a conscience vote,” AME national convenor Alex Greenwich said.
“Soon their party room will debate whether they should have a conscience vote on marriage equality, which is essential if marriage equality is to pass Parliament. Now’s the time to have your voice heard!”
The campaign quotes senior Liberals who have expressed support for a conscience vote, including NSW premier Barry O’Farrell, South Australian Opposition leader Isobel Redmond, former Howard Government minister Amanda Vanstone, former NSW premier Nick Greiner, and federal Liberal MP Russell Broadbent.
AME’s renewed push follows a call by Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) urging Coalition MPs to push Abbott to allow a conscience vote.
PFLAG national spokesperson Shelley Argent wrote to MPs and launched a TV advertising campaign.
“To allow Mr Abbott’s block vote … in the expectation that the matter will be defeated and go away (which it will not) lacks the courage of leadership on such an important human right issue,” Argent wrote.
“It isn’t only our gay sons and lesbian daughters affected by Mr Abbott’s discriminatory stance but also us, their parents and extended family members.
“Our sons and daughters want no more or less than their straight siblings and we as their parents also want the same for them. Our same-sex attracted sons and daughters are not second-class.”
Abbott has said that MPs are free to cross the floor in line with Coalition party rules. However, any member of the Opposition front bench to do so would lose his/her position in the Shadow Cabinet.