The Courier-Mail

MPs unlikely to engage equal marriage Bill

- STEVEN SCOTT

COALITION, Labor andd Greens MPs who want to legalise gay marriage will meet on Thursday to try to strike a compromise deal.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten introduced his gay marriage Bill to Parliament yesterday but it is set to fail, with no Liberals backing it.

Only five Coalition MPs – Bob Baldwin, Russell Broadbent, Darren Chester, Mal Brough and Andrew Broad – turned up to hear Mr Shorten introduce the Bill in the chamber.

The Oppositi Opposition Ld Leader was watched by most of his MPs, with others including his wife Chloe Bryce and Labor Senators Penny Wong and Katy Gallagher also in the chamber.

LNP MP Warren Entsch, a key advocate for gay marriage in the Coalition, said no Liberal would support the Bill because it was politicise­d.

He said it was unlikely to b be discussed in a Coalition party room meeting today and he would be the first to sh shut down conversati­on if it w were raised.

“It doesn’t warrant any discussion,” he said. “We have got other things we are working on.”

MPs from all parties will meet on Thursday to discuss an alternativ­e Bill for the second half of the year, Mr Entsch said.

Tony Abbott said there was no urgency for his party to come to a decision about whether to allow a free vote on gay marriage.

But in a further sign Mr Abbott expects a vote in the near future, he said “if Members of Parliament feel sufficient­ly strongly about this, all sorts of things can happen”.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale said on Twitter his party would support every Bill on gay marriage but “a Bill the whole parliament can own has the best chance of success.”

 ??  ?? TWO SIDES: Labor’s Bill Shorten introduces his Bill in front of just a few Coaltion MPs (inset).
TWO SIDES: Labor’s Bill Shorten introduces his Bill in front of just a few Coaltion MPs (inset).
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