Cross-party marriage equality bill set to be introduced in August

Cross-party marriage equality bill set to be introduced in August

A VOTE on marriage equality could come as soon as the end of next month with reports today that a cross-party bill will be introduced on 11 August, when federal parliament resumes.

Sky News has said long-time LGBTI advocate and Liberal MP Warren Entsch along with fellow Liberal Teresa Gambaro will sponsor a bill along with two as-yet-unnamed Labor MPs.

Independent MPs Andrew Wilkie and Cathy McGowan are also thought to be on board.

Asked about the possibility of a bill today, McGowan, who is MP for Indi in northern Victoria, told Fairfax Media:”I’ve heard those names mentioned, I have been talking to them about it, I expressed my interest in it.

“People in my electorate want this dealt with and dealt with quickly.”

The issue has taken on new urgency following the US Supreme Court striking down the remaining state bans on same-sex marriage in America late last week.

A new marriage equality bill would add to the three already doing the rounds in Parliament House — one each from the Greens and Labor and one from NSW Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm.

However, commentators and Liberal politicians have said there is little chance of these bills getting any traction and a cross-party approach would enable neither side of the house to take all the credit if legislation is passed.

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said a bill signed by two Liberals stood the best chance of achieving a Coalition free vote and being passed.

“With momentum growing after marriage equality in Ireland and the US, this bill gives Australia the strongest opportunity we have ever had of achieving marriage equality,” he said.

Croome said he was hopeful the Coalition would soon remove the “last hurdle” to marriage equality by allowing a free vote on the co-sponsored bill: “It is untenable for Coalition MPs to introduce legislation they can’t vote on.”

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has previously said the issue will be discussed in the party room when legislation is introduced.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten said: “It’s the outcome that is important here, not whose name is on the bill.

“Like millions of Australians, my first and only hope here is that we can make marriage equality a reality.”

Early last month, deputy opposition leader Tanya Plibersek offered to stand aside as the seconder of Labor’s bill should a Liberal or National MP be prepared to second it.

Sydney City Liberal councillor, and high profile marriage equality advocate, Christine Forster accused Labor of “politicking” and said the bill should have been withdrawn completely in favour of legislation born through cross party consensus.

“We need to take the politics out of the whole thing to get the right result,” she said last month.

If a cross-party bill does come to fruition it could be discussed in the Coalition party room as soon as 18 August where a decision would be made to grant  Liberal and National MPs a free vote.

With dissenting voices on both sides of parliament, a conscience vote for Coalition MPs — which Labor has already granted to its members — is considered essential for marriage equality to get across the line.

The Greens have said they will vote in favour of marriage equality.

Asked on the weekend about his opinion of marriage equality in light of the Supreme Court ruling, Abbott said: “I have views on this subject which are pretty well known and they haven’t changed.”

Yesterday, Abbott attended a function at the US Embassy in Canberra hosted by out, gay and married US Ambassador John Berry, who told the Star Observer last month he had not raised the issue directly with the Prime Minister.

At the event Abbott failed to mention marriage equality but did acknowledge Berry’s husband, Curtis Yee.

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15 responses to “Cross-party marriage equality bill set to be introduced in August”

  1. My Order just introduced…

    Legislative Instruments and Acts (Marriage Equality) Order 2015

    (1) WEREAS; All references throughout all Australian Acts of Parliament and common law that say; “man”, “woman”, “male”, “female”, “husband”, “wife”, “him”, “he”,
    “she”, “her”, etc. – are to must now include same-sex partners and/or same-sex spouses under this Order! (e.g. both the Marriage Act 1961 and the Family Law Act 1975).

    (2) WEREAS; All references throughout all Australian legislative instruments, regulations and common law that say; “man”, “woman”, “male”, “female”, “husband”, “wife”, “him”, “he”,
    “she”, “her”, etc. – are to must now include same-sex partners and/or same-sex spouses under this Order!

    (3) This Order becomes effective from the date of issue!

    Legislative Instruments and Acts (Marriage Equality) Order 2015
    Issued: 9/7/2015, Thursday at 4:30PM!

    • Hey Tony Abbott and co, this is 2015, time for equality and high-time to get rid of some DEAD WOOD for firewood – come the next election in 2016 by the Australian public, it is going to be a cold winter in hell for the LNP!

  2. Tony Abbott is on the drug ice for sure – he is bat shit crazy in our parliament! Tony Abbott should be immediately deported to either Manus Island or Nauru, because he is not a citizen of this country!

    • 100% Correct Paul…

      Section 44 of the Australian Constitution lists the grounds for disqualification on who may become a candidate for election to the Parliament of Australia. It states in particular:

      44. Any person who –
      (i.) Is under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power: or
      (ii.) Is attainted of treason, or has been convicted and is under sentence, or subject to be sentenced, for any offence punishable under the law of the Commonwealth or of a State by imprisonment for one year or longer: or
      (iii.) Is an undischarged bankrupt or insolvent: or(iv.) Holds any office of profit under the Crown, or any pension payable during the pleasure of the Crown out of any of the revenues of the Commonwealth: or(v.) Has any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any agreement with the Public Service of the Commonwealth otherwise than as a member and in common with the other members of an incorporated company consisting of more than twenty-five persons:
      shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.

      But sub-section iv. does not apply to the office of any of the Queen’s Ministers of State for the Commonwealth, or of any of the Queen’s Ministers for a State, or to the receipt of pay, half pay, or a pension, by any person as an officer or member of the Queen’s navy or army, or to the receipt of pay as an officer or member of the naval or military forces of the Commonwealth by any person whose services are not wholly employed by the Commonwealth.

      • Section 116 of the Australian Constitution on religion:
        116 “The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth”

        In 2004 when the ban on gay marriage passed in the Australian federal parliament under the last Coalition Government and got assented on August 13, 2004 to be exact – the excuse is “we are a Judeo-Christian nation and marriage under that religion has always been between a man and a woman”. In 2015, it is possible to have a court case to “strike down” that law, so it is “null and void” under section 116!?

        • No Jason, because the 2004 amendment to the Marriage Act doesn’t mention religion. That would breach section 116. Describing marriage as between a man and a woman merely appeals to those who practice a religion. Just as a gender-less law appeals to those who worship at the alter of equality.

  3. I have been with my partner for 19 years and It is just bat shit crazy another bill is being introduced. There are ALREADY 7 fucking bills in parliament on this very same issue! I can not even believe marriage equality is still debated as an issue in this country – What a fucking embarrassment supposedly being the land of the fair go in 2015. Even after Luxembourg, Ireland, United States under SCOTUS, etc allowed marriage equality just this year! – and still our politicians are fighting and bickering over this issue, only because the radical and fanatical Shoppies Unions, Bob Katter, LNP, Catholic Labor and the ACL are at it yet again, being in control and pulling the strings on Tony Abbott!

    For fuck sake let us marry and move on!

  4. Gee wiz 100 bills on marriage equality have all been introduced to our parliament and NOT EVEN ONE has passed our parliament – SHAME! SHAME! SHAME! (as Darren Hinch would say/quote)! Tony Abbott is a cunt!

    Vote 1 Greens