Four in five Australian’s want Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to grant Coalition MPs a conscience vote on marriage equality, according to a poll released today.

Over the weekend the Labor Party voted to change its party platform to allow for same-sex marriage, however, also supported a move to allow Labor MPs a conscience vote when the issue comes before parliament.

Without Coalition MPs allowed a free vote on the issue, any bill would likely fail.

Australian Marriage Equality (AME) has today released a Galaxy poll which shows 80 percent of respondents said they want Abbott to allow a conscience vote on the issue, including 76 percent of Coalition voters.

AME national convener Alex Greenwich said results overwhelmingly show voters want Coalition MPs to vote according to their conscience.

“[Voters] know it’s important for MPs who support reform to be able to express this in parliament, especially with such high support for equality across key Liberal seats,” Greenwich said.

“If Mr Abbott acts now to grant a conscience vote he will avoid the kind of divisions and ruptures that plagued Labor during its protracted internal debate on marriage equality.

“We hope that Mr Abbott will recognise that the momentum for marriage equality is unstoppable and by granting a conscience vote he will allow the coalition to play a part in this historic reform.”

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said the Greens want to co-sponsor a same-sex marriage bill to present to parliament in the new year and called for Abbott to allow his MPs a conscience vote.

“Tony Abbott has nothing to lose by giving his members a free vote on amending the Marriage Act,” Hanson-Young said.

“But if he continues to stand in the way of what most Australians believe is now inevitable, his MPs will have no other choice but to cross the floor if they are to listen to their electorates.
 
“Individual Liberal members have a proud history of crossing the floor on crucial votes. We in the Greens hope Mr Abbott will let his members stand up and vote freely to help defeat discrimination based on who a person loves.”
 
Grassroots lobby group Getup! is renewing its calls for public support to keep up public pressure on the issue.

To donate to the campaign, click HERE

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