Australia's ruling coalition is likely
to decide whether to allow members to vote on a gay marriage bill
according to their conscience.
According to The
Sydney Morning Herald, the decision on a conscience vote is
likely before the coming spring session of Parliament. A conscience
vote is considered critical for passage.
The government has asked Senator David
Leyonhjelm to introduce his draft marriage bill.
Leyonhjelm announced the bill last
month, saying he would not formally introduce it until Prime Minister
Tony Abbott allows members of the ruling Coalition to vote as they
choose on the issue.
He said, however, that he will
introduce the bill, giving members time to examine the proposal
before taking a position.
“I have heard from Liberal senators
that a conscience vote is highly likely,” said Leyonhjelm, who
represents the Liberal-Democrats.
“If it doesn't get through, I have
six years to poke them,” he added. “At some point they will see
I am not going to give up on this.”