POLITICS

Same-Sex Marriage Pressure Mounts In New Parliament, But It's The Same Old Tactics

Labor announce Private Member's Bill, which didn't get through last Parliament.

30/08/2016 5:36 PM AEST | Updated August 30, 2016 18:23
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Labor aren't the only politicians with old tricks.

Pressure is mounting on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to scrap the plebiscite and legislate same-sex marriage immediately, following tactical moves by Labor and House of Representatives crossbenchers.

In a case of 'new parliament, same old tricks', Labor leader Bill Shorten has given notice to introduce a Private Member's Bill to amend the legislation of the Marriage Act to define marriage as the union of two people -- not a man and a woman.

Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek tabled the bill to the 44th Parliament in May, which did not pass.

On Tuesday afternoon crossbenchers in the House of Representatives including independents Andrew Wilkie, Cathy McGowan and Greens MP Adam Bandt also announced a cross-party Private Member's Bill to amend the Marriage Act.

Wilkie told media the bill would be "identical" to the one previously tabled to Parliament, urging Coalition and Labor members to support it and avoid a "costly plebiscite".

"I note that the Labor Party have announced their own marriage equality Private Member's Bill but encourage them to support our cross-party Bill because this provides the very best chance of achieving reform," Wilkie said.

Both bills are unlikely to pass the house unless Coalition members cross the floor. And if the crossbenchers and Labor MPs remain stubborn, there will be even fewer members crossing the floor (despite wanting the same outcome).

The next opportunity for the bills to be introduced will be during the next Monday of a sitting week, which is September 12.

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