Australia Drops Marriage Referendum

The Australian Parliament has blocked moves for a Republic of Ireland-style marriage referendum in the country.

As we reported two months ago, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had sought to use a referendum to neutralise the issue rather than face a battle inside his right-wing party. It’s a risky move – it’s the same trick David Cameron used to put the question of EU membership to the country to try and end the internal feuding in the Conservative party here.

The Senate has now voted the proposal down by 33 to 29 so it looks more likely that marriage equality will be delivered by direct legislation through cross-party co-operation.