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Marriage will be an election issue: Greens
Greens MP and deputy leader Adam Bandt has secured debating time in the House of Representatives on his marriage equality bill for next monday, Fairfax Media reports.
Australian Marriage Equality (AME) advocates have been campaigning to make gay marriage an election issue since two same-sex marriage bills were voted down in Parliament last September.
”Marriage equality will now be on the election agenda,” Bandt said.
He said marriage equality support had swept across the world, highlighting US President Barack Obama’s shock announcement in support of gay marriage last year.
Bandt’s bill would remove references to marriage explicitly being between a man and woman and include protections for churches who refused to marry same-sex couples.
The Greens also want to test Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s pledge made on 60 Minutes last Sunday that he separated his Christian faith from policy decisions.
“Allowing Coalition MPs a conscience vote is the first test of Tony Abbott’s claim that he won’t let his religious beliefs influence politics,” Bandt said.
”With the election approaching, every MP’s support for marriage equality is going to be put to the electoral test.”
In his 60 Minutes interview, Abbott said: ”Faith is important to me. It’s important to millions of Australians. It helps to shape who I am. It helps to shape my values. But it must never, never dictate my politics.”