Labor MPs to support equal marriage

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard has said she expects many of her Labor colleagues will vote for marriage equality during an online question and answer session where marriage equality rated at the top issue of concern for ordinary Australians.

Many questions for the Prime Minister were submitted to the one-hour online OurSay question and answer session, including questions on the carbon tax, refugees, veterans affairs and school chaplains, but one querying Ms Gillard's stance against same-sex marriage was the most popular with 12,700 votes.

Australian Marriage Equality national convener, Alex Greenwich, said,

"Julia Gillard may still oppose marriage equality but she has at least acknowledged that it is widely supported by her Labor colleagues."

"I believe this will be seen by many undecided Labor MPs and Senators as tacit permission to vote for what the majority of Australians clearly want."

"The strong support for marriage equality shown from those ordinary Australians who participated in the OurSay poll also sends a clear message to our federal representatives to get on with it."

The question that topped the OurSay poll was from Shane Bazzi, 25 of Sydney. He asked,

''As the first female, atheist, unmarried Prime Minister of Australia, and leader of a self-described socially progressive party, how do you explain your opposition to same-sex marriage and 'deeply held' belief that same-sex couples should continue to be discriminated against by a piece of legislation, the Marriage Act?"

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