AUSTRALIA: Opposition Labor Party Leader Bill Shorten To Introduce Marriage Equality Bill Next Week

Via Gay Star News:

Australian Opposition leader Bill Shorten has become the first leader of a major political party to put forward legislation to allow same-sex marriage in Australia just days after more members of the conservative wing of his party announced they now would vote in favor of marriage equality. Shorten, leader of the Australian Labor Party, put his intention in writing earlier today, giving notice to the Parliament that he will table such a bill when the House of Representatives meets on Monday. “I give notice that, at the next sitting I will present a bill for an Act to amend the Marriage Act 1961 to establish marriage equality, and for related purposes,” a document signed by Shorten and seconded by deputy opposition leader Tanya Plibersek reads.

More from the Sydney Morning Herald:

Momentum is building in Parliament for change following Ireland’s successful referendum at the weekend. Mr Abbott has conceded he is the last person in his own family to still believe gay and lesbian couples should not be allowed to marry. NSW Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm has introduced a “Freedom to Marry” bill in the Senate but is holding off on bringing on a vote until he can be guaranteed there is enough support in the Parliament. The Greens plan to bring forward a Senate debate on that party’s marriage equality bill next month. The party has also set November 12 for a Senate vote, before Parliament rises for the summer. Several key Labor Right figures, including frontbenchers Chris Bowen, Ed Husic and Tony Burke, have recently declared their support for change. But if Liberals are not not allowed to vote freely, there will not be enough numbers to pass the bill.

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull today predicted that same-sex marriage will be a reality by the end of the year, saying: “I have never seen a social issue which has changed attitudes as rapidly as this one. So my feeling is that it is very likely to pass.”