Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu has ruled out a conscience vote on state-based same-sex marriage despite his New South Wales counterpart saying he’d allow one last week.
NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell announced Liberal MPs would be allowed a free vote on a cross-party bill to be introduced later this year.
A spokesman for Baillieu told Fairfax Media there were no plans to change from the current domestic partnership register for same-sex couples.
Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby co-convenor Anna Brown told the Star Observer the premier’s decision was disappointing.
“Failing to support marriage equality or allowing a conscience vote on this issue means the Coalition’s claim to be working for an truly inclusive Victoria rings hollow indeed,” she said.
“It’s disappointing that Victoria will be lagging behind other states and territories as well as the majority of Victorians who support marriage equality.
“It is also inconsistent with the Government’s policies in this area, undermining their investment in the mental health of LGBTI people by sending the message that their relationships are less worthy than others in the community.”
Victorian Greens MLC Sue Pennicuik introduced a same-sex marriage bill into the Upper House earlier this year but will not succeed in the current parliament since the Coalition holds a majority over both houses.
Premier Baillieu has previously said he supported civil unions.