Malcolm Turnbull
Malcolm Turnbull

Turnbull asks PM for conscience vote on gay marriage

COMMUNICATIONS Minister Malcolm Turnbull has called on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to allow a conscience vote on gay marriage.

Mr Turnbull made the call in Fairfax Media on Monday, as the Abbott Government prepares for a likely Greens-sponsored bill to come before parliament this year.

The Coalition front-bencher, known for his liberal views on marriage equality, is leading an internal push for a vote during the 44th Parliament.

He joins the Greens and left-leaning Labor MPs in support of marriage equality, even as the government prepares for a High Court challenge to the ACT's new gay marriage laws.

But even if the issue did come before parliament, it is unclear whether any bill would be successful, with long-held divisions in both major parties.

A similar bill was defeated in the House of Representatives last year, and it is understood some would support a conscience vote even if they wouldn't support a marriage equality bill itself.


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