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Australia: Gay marriage bills defeated in House of Representatives and Senate

BY DANIELA COSTA – The Australian House of Representatives voted against legalizing same-sex marriage in a Sept 19 vote. The following day the Australian Senate defeated a similar bill.

In the House of Representatives, 42 MPs voted in favour and 98 against. Both Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott voted against the bill.

                                    Photo by Corey Oakley

The Senate vote was 26 in favour and 41 against.

“Many same-sex couples and our families will feel despondent, angry and betrayed that federal parliament has said our relationships are not worthy of equal recognition and respect,” says Rodney Croome, campaign coordinator of Australian Marriage Equality.

“But I take heart from the fact that the last time the Senate voted on marriage equality in 2009 only six Senators voted in favour and today that number has increased four-fold.”

Australia’s marriage equality fight is not over. Supporters of same-sex marriage may find renewed hope at the state level.

The Herald Sun reports that a same-sex marriage bill is likely to pass in New South Wales after MPs from several parties decided to work together to get it passed. Party leaders announced that MPs do not have to vote with their parties.

Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory, South Australia and Western Australia are expected to follow suit.

“With the majority of Australians behind marriage equality I am confident momentum for reform will continue to grow as attention now shifts to the states,” Croome says.

Australian Marriage Equality rejected Liberal MP Warren Entsch’s proposal for national civil unions.

Landing Image: Australian Marriage Equality 

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