The Sydney Morning Herald reports:
Parliamentary support for same-sex marriage reform appears to have reached critical mass and for the first time could pass in both houses, placing renewed pressure on Malcolm Turnbull to grant a free vote, rather than spend millions of dollars organising a non-binding public plebiscite.
Mr. Turnbull has promised conservative colleagues he will honour the plebiscite compromise put forward by Tony Abbott despite his own preference for a free parliamentary vote.
According to the key lobby group leading the charge for a broadened definition of marriage in the Marriage Act, Australian Marriage Equality, there is now a slim majority of pro-change MPs in both the House of Representatives and in the Senate.
“We’re confident the numbers are there for marriage equality to pass both houses of federal Parliament right now if a free vote is granted to Coalition members,” said the group’s director, Rodney Croome, arguing it meant there was “no need for an expensive and divisive plebiscite”.
The majorities are believed to stand at 76 in the 150-member House and at 41 in the 76-seat Senate.
RELATED: Former Australian PM Tony Abbott is in New York City today to address the rabidly anti-LGBT Alliance Defending Freedom, who on Wednesday trotted out several anti-LGBT business owners in opposition to Indiana’s ironically terrible “LGB rights” bill.