NSW Young Nationals Back Same-Sex Marriage, Defy Party Position

31/08/2015 6:17 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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The NSW Young Nationals have endorsed marriage equality in a move that puts them at odds with the Federal party's position.

The young Nats voted over the weekend to endorse marriage equality at its annual conference in Cowora on the border of NSW/Victoria, making them the first youth branch of a conservative party to back same-sex marriage.

"I believe that all people in Australia, regards of their sex, deserve equality under the law -- and discrimination that's written into the legislation doesn't belong in Australia," said Blaise Bratter, who moved Saturday's motion.

In a series of motions passed at the weekend, the NSW Young Nationals also officially recorded its "disappointment and disillusionment" with Federal Nats who "aided in denying coalition members a free vote on marriage equality".

In recent weeks coalition MPS were denied a free vote on marriage equality, with the government instead pushing for a plebiscite after the next election.

While at odds with the senior federal party position, Bratter told The Huffington Post Australia that both arms of the party would respectfully agree to disagree. But he hopes it will spark change.

"I hope it would put pressure, to show them that within the ranks of the party there are people who want this," he said.

In a statement issued on Monday the young Nationals said a young homosexual man living in regional NSW is six times more likely to commit suicide than members of the community as a whole.

"This motion says that a same-sex relationship is equally as important and valid as a heterosexual relationship," the statement said.

Several National MPS - including senate leader and senior cabinet member Nigel Scullion - have also come out in support of marriage equality in recent months.

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