Why Australia blocked a vote on same-sex marriage

On Tuesday, Australia’s Parliament rejected plans for a February referendum on legalizing same-sex marriage, due to a lack of support from members of the majority Labor Party. Now, it is likely that Parliament will not readdress same-sex marriage again until 2019.

Those opposed to the referendum cited worries that it would spark harmful anti-gay rhetoric and undermine the legislative process, while advocates, including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his Liberal Party, argued that this would be the simplest path to legalization.

“Turnbull is socially progressive but he leads a conservative party,” said Australian National University political analyst Andrew Hughes to the Chicago Tribune. The stalemate over marriage equality “shows how hard it is to get his way when his views don’t have majority support from his own lawmakers.” READ MORE.

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