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Tony Abbott rules out same sex marriage referendum.

In the wake of Ireland’s historic same sex marriage decision, many Australians are calling for a referendum on the issue to be held here.

Update: 

Controversial Tasmanian senator, Jacquie Lambie, has called for a referendum on marriage equality in Australia.

Senator Lambie told Sky News Agenda this afternoon that it should be the people of Australia who make the final call on legalising same sex marriage.

“Look, I believe in giving the power back to the people on this.

“It’s about time that that the people had the vote.

“It shouldn’t come down to our conscience, it should come down to every Australian’s conscience and how they want to vote,” Senator Lambie said.

Ms Lambie is not a supporter of gay marriage, and hopes that Australia’s conservative elderly population would tip the scales in favour of a conservative outcome were a referendum to occur.

“We have an elderly population here in Australia, and I tell you what my money would be on, I don’t think you’re going to get the same result that just happened in Ireland.

“As a matter of fact, I don’t think you’ll have the numbers,” she said.

“Let’s do the referendum and see what the answers are.”

Mamamia previously wrote:

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has ruled out a referendum on same sex marriage in Australia as an option, saying the decision is a matter for Federal parliament.

According to Prime Minister Abbott, a referendum can only be held in Australia when there was a proposal to change the constitution.

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“I don’t think anyone’s suggesting the constitution needs to be changed in this respect,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“Under the constitution, questions of marriage are the reserve of the Commonwealth parliament… plainly this is a matter that could come before the commonwealth parliament if members of parliament wanted it to be raised.”

Check out some of the inspirational photos from Ireland’s same-sex marriage vote. (Post continues after gallery)

He told reporters at a press conference during his visit to Brisbane today that he was careful not to underestimate the strength of opinions on both sides of the same sex marriage debate.

“There are a range of views inside the parliament, there are a range of views inside my party room, frankly there are a range of views inside my family,” he told reporters.

“Inside the Abbott family I’m probably the last holdout for the traditional position.”

This revelation is unsurprising, given that Mr Abbott’s sister, Christine Forster, is a lesbian who has been in a relationship with her partner for the past twelve years.

The Prime Minister has pushed aside insistences that the matter be brought before Parliament, saying his focus in the coming fortnight is to give small business “the confidence boost they deserve.”

Should Australia hold a referendum on same sex marriage?

Read more:

Congratulations! Ireland votes YES on same sex marriage.

Why we’ll keep fighting for same sex marriage: “Because almost equal is not good enough.”

Stop telling me Christians don’t support gay marriage.’

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