MPs re­ject gay bill

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Aus­tralia’s par­lia­ment yes­ter­day re­jected the gov­ern­ment’s pro­posal for a na­tional vote on whether to le­gal­ize same-sex mar­riage. The up­per house Se­nate voted 33-29 against the coali­tion gov­ern­ment’s bid to hold a plebiscite on the is­sue. At­tor­ney-Gen­eral Ge­orge Bran­dis in­tro­duced the bill into the Se­nate, where the gov­ern­ment does not hold an out­right ma­jor­ity, de­spite ex­pec­ta­tion the op­po­si­tion La­bor and Greens par­ties would scup­per it. The gov­ern­ment has re­peat­edly warned that a de­feat would de­lay same-sex mar­riage in Aus­tralia for years. Bran­dis urged the up­per house to “stop play­ing pol­i­tics with gay peo­ple’s lives”. “Get out of the way,” he said in a fiery de­bate. The op­po­si­tion said the plebiscite would have sparked harm­ful de­bate against the gay and les­bian com­mu­nity and de­manded a di­rect vote in par­lia­ment in­stead. De­bate on gay mar­riage in Aus­tralia has gone on for more than a decade and con­ser­va­tive Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull hoped to re­solve the is­sue via a plebiscite on Fe­bru­ary 11.

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