Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott is facing pressure to tackle issues on same-sex marriage, lest it will overwhelm the election campaign, news said.
Mr. Abbott struggled on Thursday in keeping the peace between the divided party, as Liberal Senator Eric Abetz cautioned against legalization of same-sex marriage, saying it would create precedence for laws legalizing polygamy.
MP from Queensland and an advocate of same-sex marriage, Ewen Jones, said, “the government should allow a conscience vote or risk it hanging around our neck during an election.”
Jones’s opinion was echoed by a Liberal MP, who described a scenario where the government would ignore the issue to be “absolutely disastrous.”
“The conservative elements are alienating moderate voters, and the sooner we deal with this issue, the sooner we can focus on the big issues,” Herald Sun quoted the MP as saying.
Another gay marriage supporter, Environment Minister Greg Hunt, urged colleagues to respect each other’s views.
But Sen. Abetz threw a warning against a supposed same-sex bill.
“To try to change the definition now will open a Pandora’s box because if you undo the institution of marriage by redefining it for the latest movement or the latest fad, you will open a Pandora’s box for all sorts of other potential possibilities,” the Senator said.
Supporting Abetz’ opinion was Victorian Michael Sukkar, who did not only oppose same-sex marriage, but also the conscience vote.
“I don’t support a change. I think we should maintain the party position, and that will be a matter for the party room. I will support the position of the party room.”
The Prime Minister, while maintaining stance against same-sex marriage, nevertheless, is open to the possibility of “holding a free vote if the party room supported it,” Herald Sun reports.
“It is an important issue upon which decent people can differ. The normal processes will be followed. We will treat this in an absolutely normal and straightforward way,” Mr. Abbot was quoted as saying.
Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling favoring same-sex marriage in all 50 states in a 5-4 vote, igniting criticisms from different sectors.