Sunday 17 November 2019

Opposition slam Australian PM for dismissing idea of referendum on same-sex marriage

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been slammed by the opposition for dismissing the idea of a referendum on same-sex marriage in Australia.

The prime minister's statement comes after Ireland voted in favour of amending the constitution and introducing same-sex marriage.

Mr Abbott said 'questions of marriage are the preserve of the Commonwealth Parliament', ABC News report.

"Referendums are held in this country where there's a proposal to change the constitution," he said.

"I don't think anyone is suggesting the constitution needs to be changed in this respect."

The opposition has said Mr Abbott needs to explain why the Australian government is unwilling to hold the referendum.

"If the Irish people can vote in favour of marriage equality, the question has to be asked, what is Tony Abbott's problem with it?" opposition leader Bill Shorten said.

"Most places in the world are dealing with marriage equality, why is Tony Abbott stopping Australia becoming a more modern nation?"

Yesterday, Ireland became the first country in the world to introduce same-sex marriage by popular vote.

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