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Gillard to announce marriagevote?

A senior Labor Party source says Prime Minister Julia Gillard will announce an ALP conscience vote on same-sex marriage early next week.

The move is happening because Gillard knows she’d lose a vote on the issue at the upcoming Labor Party Annual Conference, so she’s keen to pre-empt that debate, the anonymous but trusted politico has told the Sydney Star Observer.

The source said he believed any conscience vote would occur following the December conference rather than beforehand.

Australian Marriage Equality spokesperson Rodney Croome says if the announcement occurs it will be an admission by Prime Minister that her opposition to marriage equality is no longer politically tenable, and will embolden supporters of equality to achieve a binding policy in favour of marriage equality at the ALP’s National Conference in December.

“Julia Gillard, and the shrinking rump of anti-equality Labor MPs she represents, know their blanket opposition to marriage equality is costing them public support, and now it seems they are trying to find a way to save face,” Croome reacts.

“But this is just their first defeat, by conceding a conscience vote now they will signal to marriage equality supporters that our campaign is working and that a binding pro-marriage equality policy is achievable at the Party’s National Conference in December,” he adds.

“By making it clear that a conscience vote is what opponents of equality want, Julia Gillard will also focus the immense support for marriage equality within the Labor Party on the single goal of achieving a binding pro-equality policy.”

All those Australians who have raised their voices for equality should take great pride that the Prime Minister and her fellow Labor opponents of marriage equality seem to be feeling the pressure, he says.

“We must keep applying that pressure to ensure Labor lives up to the values of the Party as well as the clearly-articulated aspirations of its members by adopting a binding policy in favour of marriage equality.”

FOR AND AGAINST

Earlier this week Opposition Leader Tony Abbott ruled out a conscience vote on gay marriage for the Coalition, but Rodney Croome does not expect this to be final word on the issue.

“An increasing number of Coalition MPs support marriage equality and want to be able to vote for it,” he explains.

“Tony Abbott wouldn’t feel the need to publicly confirm his opposition to a conscience vote if he felt that his Party was on his side.”

Every State Labor Leader and every State Labor Conference except NSW now supports marriage equality. The Tasmanian Labor Government became the first in Australia to formally support same-sex marriage when the issue was voted on by State Parliament last month. Both South Australian Premier Mike Rann and Opposition Leader Isobel Redmond declared their support for the issue over the weekend.

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Travis de Jonk

Travis de Jonk said on the 14th Oct, 2011

These are dark times in Australian politics - where the decision to grant citizens justice and equality are subject to a vote or the whim of polls. Gillard disgusts me. Abbott disgusts me. Australia has nothing that even vaguely looks like true leadership. Our politicians make me embarrassed to be Aussie.

Breko

Breko said on the 14th Oct, 2011

Except for NSW every State Labor Conference supports marriage equality - they didn't say they support a conscience vote on the issue.

Conscience votes should be for life and death issues (abortion, euthanasia etc) not for letting Bill and Ted get hitched. This is all terrible strategy as Gillard knows a conscience vote won't get the bill passed. In some ways I respect the Liberals for just saying they're against it as opposed to pretending they're for it and just voting it down which is what looks like Labor is going to do.

Credit is absolutely due to Adam Bandt and his motion last year for MPs to seek community engagement on this issue which really got the ball rolling. You've gotta love the Greens!

Domanik

Domanik said on the 14th Oct, 2011

Conscience votes implies there is a questionable line or ingrained moral issue as Breko said. Euthenasia, abortion, cloning, genetic modification, rights of gingers. This is a time wasting event, Labor doesn't have the numbers to pull what is needed and that Abbott idiot refuses to let coalition votes even though there are some clear and vocal supporters of equal rights in the opposition.

markinoz

markinoz said on the 14th Oct, 2011

This is bad. When it comes to a vote and the ALP has a conscience vote, we will lose. This is not a life and death issue. If it is passed by the National conference it becomes part of the National Platform and NO OTHER part of the National Platform has ever had a conscience vote in parliament.

Totka

Totka said on the 14th Oct, 2011

If we lose on this vote then we will keep trying. Its not the first time a labour leader has lost their position based on an unpopular party line.

chadstjames

chadstjames said on the 14th Oct, 2011

The fight is no where near over! Keep fighting the good fight guys, it's only a matter of time!

Angel Kisses

Angel Kisses said on the 14th Oct, 2011

Agrees this is far from over. A conscience vote isnt what we want at all, again proving they arnt listening at all.

McBender

McBender said on the 14th Oct, 2011

Agree with a lot of the sentiment already stated. It's pretty pathetic really. The Marriage Act as it stands is a perfect example of actively legislated discrimination. What it really says is, "Yo homos, we don't think of you as people. We think of you as somewhere between our dogs and those rocks over there. In fact go play with those rocks over there will you. Stop bothering us with your logic and facts and shit because we would rather go on embarrassing ourselves and showing how myopic we are."

It's a shite state of affairs to be sure. I'm very far away from getting married, and I'm not even sure I would want to when it is eventually legalised, but at the very least I'd like it to be an option.

I think they forget that we are voters and we are prepared to fist them at the ballot box.

Domanik

Domanik said on the 14th Oct, 2011

The only problem McBender with fisting them at the ballot box is the other alternative ... bleh

coast_boy_21

coast_boy_21 said on the 14th Oct, 2011

Get ready to have your sexual orientation attacked in news limited "news papers".

sum_random

sum_random said on the 14th Oct, 2011

^^ There's not much else to add, and sadly if we get rid of her, Abbot will be our PM. If that happens I'm leaving Australia!

blaah

blaah said on the 17th Oct, 2011

Even if a conscience vote is carried, it won't stop the campaign going on. Eventually the ALP will support equal rights.
Would'nt hold my breath for the Libs to do the same. Abbott and the Libsthe religious right are just too strong for change in that party.

pioneer_to_the_falls

pioneer_to_the_falls said on the 17th Oct, 2011

Even if a conscience vote is carried, it won't stop the campaign going on. Eventually the ALP will support equal rights.
Would'nt hold my breath for the Libs to do the same. Abbott and the Libsthe religious right are just too strong for change in that party.

The Tories are going ahead with it...

mark_

mark_ said on the 30th Nov, 2011

http://images.smh.com.au/2011/04/08/2296540/Gillard-420x0.jpg