Opposition Communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull said he is in favour of same-sex marriage, however, is bound by his party to vote against it when legislation comes before Parliament.

In his clearest statement yet on the issue, Turnbull told Sky News yesterday he personally supports marriage equality.

“I would be quite untroubled with the state recognising same-sex couples, and giving that the term of marriage,” Turnbull told Sky News.

“I find the argument that the institution of marriage is under attack from homosexuals wanting to live together as quite ridiculous.”

The Wentworth MP said if Coalition MPs were granted a conscience vote, he would most likely support a marriage equality bill, but said he would not break ranks.

“If there was a conscience vote on this issue, subject to the legislation being satisfactory to, going through it, I would be more likely to support it than not,” he said.

“The fact is that politics is a team sport, we have decided on our side to not to have a conscience vote on this issue. There is a variety of views on that as you know, but we’re not going to have conscience vote on this issue so I won’t be crossing the floor on this issue.

Turnbull said he doesn’t believe Opposition Leader Tony Abbott will change his position opposing a free vote on the issue.

“Tony made the decision that we were not going to have a conscience vote on the same-sex marriage issue, and that has the support of the party room,” Turnbull said.

“Coalition frontbenchers at least, unless they want to resign from the frontbench, will vote against the same-sex marriage legislation. Backbenchers of course in the Liberal Party can always cross the floor without risk of being expelled from the party.”

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