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Pressure on Abbott over marriage equality

The Australian Greens say remarks by Malcolm Turnbull and Barry O'Farrell on a conscience vote for marriage equality is further proof Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, should allow a free vote.

"If the Coalition sticks with Tony Abbott's outdated policy of marriage being between a man and a woman, opposition members should be allowed a conscience vote," Greens' marriage equality spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

"Australian Marriage Equality's poll yesterday showed 80 percent of respondents agreed the Coalition should be allowed to have a conscience vote on same-sex marriage.

"Individual Liberals have a proud tradition of crossing the floor on important topics, and we Greens encourage them to do so again when marriage equality legislation comes before the federal parliament next year.

"The best way of getting a bill to pass the parliament is to have it co-sponsored by MPs from all sides. Co-sponsorship from Adam Bandt, Stephen Jones and a member of the Liberals would send a strong message to the community that our MPs do believe equality is important and inevitable.

"The Greens look forward to more Coalition members speaking up in support of marriage equality. Mr Abbott should move his 'no plow' out of the way of the unstoppable momentum in the wider community which wants the Marriage Act changed."


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