A bill which seeks to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry in Australia was introduced Monday in the Australian parliament.

“Being gay is not a lifestyle choice,” LNP MP Warren Entsch said in introducing his bill.

“This bill does not create different classes of marriage.”

“A divided nation is what we will be if we continue to allow discrimination in relation to marriage on the basis of a person's sexuality,” he added.

But the decision last week by Prime Minister Tony Abbott's ruling conservative coalition not to allow a free vote on the issue has effectively doomed the bill.

Abbott promised to hold a public vote on legalizing such unions if his government is re-elected next year.

At a protest rally held Sunday in Melbourne, critics noted that such votes are not binding.

“Plebiscites are not binding, there is no time frame with a plebiscite, and the danger if the Greens and Labor back this plebiscite move, is that if the outcome at the election is not favorable, then Labor would possibly have to be bound by the plebiscite,” Anthony Wallace from Equal Love told the crowd.

“So, I tell Tony Abbott: Stick your plebiscite where the sun don't shine,” he added.

Polls show a majority (72%) of Australians support marriage equality.