A MOTION supporting a conscience vote on same-sex marriage within the Liberal Party was tabled at the party’s State Council in Victoria on Saturday, highlighting grass roots support for the issue among members of the Liberal Party in the state.

Introduced by the Caulfield branch of the Young Liberals, the motion linked a conscience vote on same-sex marriage to core Liberal Party values.

“The Liberal Party has historically been the shining light for individualism and personal choice in Australian society,” the motion read.

“If we are to stay true to these values then when there are divergent views on issues of morality and complex ethical questions, issues that can only be determined by personal conscience, we must grant a conscience vote

“This principle, which has historically been enacted on other social issues, such as abortion and euthanasia, must be extended to same-sex marriage.

“Coalition voters have been overwhelmingly found to support a conscience vote; this is not only popular but a principled stand on an issue of conscience.”

The motion was not debated on Saturday due to time constraints, but it is likely to be prioritised for debate at either the next State Council in rural Victoria in October or the subsequent council in March next year.

Liberal Party sources told the Star Observer there seemed to be a “fair amount” of support for the motion among delegates attending the State Council.

The Star Observer also understands there is increasing support for same-sex marriage among the grass roots of the party in Victoria, and “overwhelming” support within the Victorian Young Liberals.

There is also support for a conscience vote among party members who would not vote in favour of same-sex marriage legislation.

The motion tabled on Saturday at the State Council was the same one passed at the Young Liberals federal conference in Tasmania in February 2013.

The Star Observer understands the grass roots movement supporting same-sex marriage within the Liberal Party aims to continue to increase pressure on senior party members to grant a conscience vote in Federal Parliament by raising the issue at multiple party forums.

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