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