Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard recently announced her support of a conscience vote on same-sex marriage in parliament.
Due to an ongoing, highly tense debate on the issue, Gillard said a conscience vote would allow MPs to vote freely and based on their personal conviction. Her support for the vote comes in advance of the national conference of her Australian Labor Party in December, where the debate will continue to be thrashed out.
While Gillard supports the vote, she also restated her opposition to same-sex marriage and her plan to vote against it should a vote take place. “My position flows from my strong conviction that the institution of marriage has come to have a particular meaning and standing in our culture and nation and that should continue unchanged,” she wrote in the Herald.
While a poll in the Herald shows almost two-thirds of Australian voters support same-sex marriage, there would almost definitely not be enough votes to pass a bill in Parliament.