After days of heated debate Australian members of parliament have rejected a bill that would have legalised gay marriages.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports:
The bill, introduced by Labor backbencher Stephen Jones, was defeated in the house of representatives 98 votes to 42. Ten of the 17 Cabinet Ministers in the lower house, Green Adam Bandt and independents Andrew Wilkie, Rob Oakeshott and Craig Thomson voted for same sex marriage. All coalition MPs, Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Treasurer Wayne Swan and former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd voted against the bill.
Channelling another former Labor Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, Mr Jones urged campaigners to “maintain your rage,” while the Australian Christian Lobby head Jim Wallace said it was time for the parliament to “move on.”
Gay rights activists said they would now look to state and territory parliaments to make the change.
“Now the federal parliament has effectively brushed the wishes of a majority of Australians aside, the states and territories will take the lead, making me confident we will see same sex marriages performed somewhere in Australia by the end of the year,” Australian Marriage Equality convener Alex Greenwich said.
Read the full article via THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD