The public vote on whether gay couples are able to marry has been stopped by the Australian senate in a move being celebrated by gay marriage supporters.
Austraila’s government’s proposal to hold a public vote on making same-sex marriage legal has been defeated in the upper house of parliament. Same-sex marriage is not currently legal in any of Austrailia’s states. Civil partnership or registered relationships are available in most of Austrailia’s states. Those relationships, however, are not considered marriages under federal law.
Latest opinion polls show that most Australians support gay marriage.
Instead of a public vote, the upper house has suggested that parliament itself will make the decision. It’s a decision that looks to be shelved until the next term of parliament.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is a supporter of same-sex marriage but is said to be “reluctant” to allow his Liberal party a free vote. The opposition, Labor party, announced that it would not support the bill, which will make passing a same-sex marriage law very difficult.
According to the BBC Attorney-General George Brandis accused the Labor Party of “playing politics with gay people’s lives”. He said,
“A vote against this bill is a vote against marriage equality,”
“Those who claim to believe in marriage equality, but nevertheless, for their own cynical, game-playing reasons, are determined to vote against it, should hang their heads in shame.”
Same-sex marriage campaigners widely support this move, who would prefer the issue to be decided in parliament rather than leaving the decision to a public vote.