With renewed debate on marriage equality in the government this week, the PM’s sister is pushing Tony Abbott to allow his colleague to vote with their conscience.
The renewed dialogue comes in the wake of Liberal Democratic Senator David Leyonhjelm’s push for a conscience vote in the party room on Thursday this week.
The Liberal Democrat Senator, Mr Leyonhjelm has already introduced the draft legislation to legalise gay marriage and will move to start debate in the Senate over the next two weeks.
While Labor has agreed to allow their members to have a conscience vote, Liberal Members and Senators have previously been bound by their leader’s decision. Tony Abbott is opposed to marriage equality, but a number of Liberal MPs including Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull have publicly backed same-sex marriage.
With the PM’s current position, any marriage equality bill has no chance of passing unless Tony Abbott allows MPs and Senators to have a free vote.
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Ms Forster told Sky News’ Viewpoint that she “absolutely will be lobbying [her] brother”. “I hope the party room makes enough noise about this,” she said.
The councillor, who has previously been very open about her struggles with coming out to her family, went on to confirm her that her brother’s position on gay marriage is largely unchanged.
“Tony’s position has been well stated, and it’s on the record that he doesn’t support any changes to the Marriage Act,” she said. Adding that, “I hope the party room tells him that they very firmly believe it’s a conscience issue, and he will abide by what they [the party room] tell him.”