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Australian Parliament rejects gay marriage bill

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - 16:52

Zeenew Bureau

Sydney: After hours of heated discussions, Australian lawmakers voted against gay marriage bill, despite most of the Australians being in favour of the same sex marriage.

The gay marriage bill was put for vote in the House of Representatives, where 98 votes were cast against the bill and 42 in favour.

Though most of the Australian people support same sex marriage as depicted by a poll, majority of both the ruling and the opposition party voted against the bill.

Australian PM Julia Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbot both voted against the bill.

Gillard allowed Labor members to make a rare “conscience vote” on the bill Wednesday, which lets lawmakers vote by their personal beliefs without risking expulsion if they defy the party line. Opposition leader Tony Abbott did not give Liberal members that option.

Gillard’s government holds a razor-thin majority in Parliament and several Labor members personally oppose gay marriage. The chance of any pro-gay marriage bill passing is, therefore, remote.

The heated discussions during the voting also witnessed Liberal MP Cory Bernardi resigning from his parliamentary secretary post after he made comments linking gay marriage to bestiality.

Abbott called Bernardi’s comments “ill-disciplined.”

“They’re views that I don’t share,” Abbott told reporters after Bernardi’s resignation. “They’re views that I think many people will find repugnant.”

With Agency Inputs

First Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - 16:52

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