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SA Grants Free Vote on Same-sex Marriage

in AUSTRALIA, 25/03/2012

South Australia has become the first state to allow a full free vote for both major parties on the issue of same-sex marriage legislation.

The news, which was confirmed this morning, comes after Premier Jay Weatherill granted the state Labor Caucus a conscience vote when a same-sex marriage bill is put before parliament.

“The Labor party has been given a conscience vote on marriage equality. That is new and that’s something we see can help with the federal free votes for the Liberal party,” Greens MLC Tammy Franks told Blaze.

“With the Labor party it’s at the discretion of the Premier. Premier Weatherill has gone to the Caucus of the Labor party and given the members of the Labor party Caucus, as in all the voting MPs, the right to a conscience vote.

“So both the Liberal party has a conscience vote and the Labor party has a conscience vote. I know they made the decision a few day back, about a week ago but it got confirmed today.”

Franks added that the South Australian Liberal party had already decided on a conscience vote in 2011 for all their members.

Australian Marriage Equality National Convener Alex Greenwich, who is in Adelaide as part of the Federal Senate Inquiry, said the move by Premier Weatherill has created a national first.

“This is the first time that a full free vote would have been allowed on all sides of parliaments, with the exception of Family First,” he said.

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