PM digs in on gay unions
TONY Abbott has kicked back against a cross- party push for same- sex marriage laws to be brought before the Parliament next month.
As his own backbenchers prepare to introduce a cross- party Bill on marriage equality, the Prime Minister has made clear the economy and national security are his priorities – not marriage reform.
But a senior Liberal MP said the move could imperil Mr Abbott’s leadership. If Mr Abbott did not allow party members a conscience vote on the issue, “he would be back to where he was in January”, according to the source. Mr Abbott’s leadership hung by a thread at the beginning of this year, but a spill motion in February was ultimately unsuccessful and no other contender declared their intention.
The same- sex marriage Bill, drafted by Liberals Warren Ensch and Teresa Gambaro and seconded by Labor’s Terri Butler, will not be brought on for debate, or even discussed in the Coalition party rooms.
Mr Abbott reminded his Coalition MPs that a private member’s Bill would not be discussed in the joint party room unless it was to be voted on in the Parliament.