Greens Melbourne MP Adam Bandt is reintroducing a marriage equality bill into Parliament in June despite fears it will fail if the Coalition are not granted a conscience vote.
On Thursday, Bandt announced he would put his Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2012 to another vote in the Lower House on June 6, almost nine months since the same bill failed 98 votes to 42.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has said recently that his party would not be allowed a conscience vote until the party room changed the policy, not specifying whether it was before or after the September 14 election.
“Following successful votes in the New Zealand, UK and France this vote will ensure every MP’s position is clear before the election,” Bandt said.
“Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard will have an opportunity to get behind the tide of history.”
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said Abbott needed to listen to the members of his own party, as well as the Australian people, who are calling out for a conscience vote on marriage equality.
“The Greens have a second bill in the Senate that would see international same-sex marriages recognised in Australia,” she said.
“Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott need to recognise that the time for equality has arrived.”
— Melbourne Greens (@melbgreens) May 9, 2013
Australian Marriage Equality national director Rodney Croome called on Labor and Coalition MPs to co-sponsor the bill.
“With Australian polls showing an increase in support since New Zealand achieved marriage equality, I am hopeful an increased number of MPs will do the right thing and throw their weight behind reform,” Croome said.
“It is now in the hands of Tony Abbott to allow a conscience vote, and Julia Gillard to show leadership, but if they don’t I believe the vote will still show support is rising and there’s unstoppable momentum behind reform.
“The vote will also give declared supporters of reform a final opportunity to show voters they stand for fairness and family.”
So far the bill has been co-sponsored by Tasmanian Independent Andrew Wilkie.