The push for a free vote on the legalisation of same-sex marriage within the Liberal Party has failed with only seven MPs voting to change the parties policy after a two-hour meeting on Monday.
The majority of the Coalition government have agreed to try again for a compulsory national plebiscite or non-compulsory postal, both non-binding, followed by a conscience vote in Parliament.
“Well, the position of the Government is that if the plebiscite vote comes back with a ‘yes’ vote in favour of changing the law to allow same-sex couples to marry, we will have a private member’s bill to change the law,” Finance Minister Mathias Cormann told the ABC after the meeting.
“There would be a free vote informed by the plebiscite outcome and our expectation would be that that law would pass the Parliament.”
Last November, a plebiscite failed in the Senate when Labor, the Greens, the Xenophon Team and Derryn Hinch combined to reject it.
The Equality Campaign said the Federal Government has failed to show the nerve and leadership to deliver marriage equality for every Australian.
“The national campaign has resolved to maintain its commitment to fight the plebiscite in any form and advocate for the parliament to do its job and vote on marriage equality,” Co-Chair of Australian Marriage Equality, Alex Greenwich said.