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(http://www.thepunch.com.au/tags/same-sex-marriage/)
YOUNG NATIONALS CALL FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY FREE VOTE

in AUSTRALIA, 25/05/2012

Marriage equality advocates have welcomed a resolution from the NSW Young Nationals calling on the the federal National Party to be allowed a conscience vote on the issue.

The resolution was passed by a two thirds majority and will be debated at the up-coming National Party state conference and reads:

"That members of the Federal Parliamentary National Party be allowed a conscience vote on proposed changes to the Marriage Act regarding same sex marriage."

Australian Marriage Equality national convener, Alex Greenwich said, "Marriage equality is important to many rural and regional Australians because they believe in marriage and want their gay and lesbian friends and family members to share in its benefits."

"As support for marriage equality increases in the National and Liberal Parties, Tony Abbott's resistance to a free vote will seem increasingly out-of-step."

The news comes as well respected NSW National's MPs Trevor Khan MLC and Sarah Mitchell MLC spoke in favour of a marriage equality motion in the NSW Parliament yesterday (full details here).

A conscience vote on marriage equality already has the support of several senior Coalition figures including National's Deputy Leader, Barnaby Joyce, who opposes the reform.

"One doesn't have to be a marriage equality supporter to see that the Coalition's tradition of allowing conscience votes is what should be determining its stance on this issue."

"Indeed, the latest national poll shows 73% of Australians believe it is this tradition, rather than Tony Abbott's personal opposition to reform, which should be the basis for Coalition policy."

The poll, conducted by Galaxy research, also found that 61% of Australians want to see marriage equality passed in this term of government.

Full details on Galaxy polling can be found here.

For more information contact Alex Greenwich on 0421 316 335.

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