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Australian Marriage Equality will target 50 MPs to vote in favour of same-sex marriage

Senators Sue Boyce (Liberal), Sarah Hanson-Young (Greens) and Claire Moore (Labor) launching a campaign on marriage equality in Canberra.

Senators Sue Boyce (Liberal), Sarah Hanson-Young (Greens) and Claire Moore (Labor) launching a campaign on marriage equality in Canberra. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Fairfax MP Clive Palmer is on a hit list of federal MPs whom marriage equality advocates believe they can persuade to support same-sex marriage.

Advocacy group Australian Marriage Equality (AME) will use Valentine's Day to unveil a list of 50 lower house MPs they will target to vote in favour of a change to the federal marriage act.

The group has previously named Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Treasurer Joe Hockey and Education Minister Christopher Pyne as high-profile Coalition MPs in their sights, while Chris Bowen, Wayne Swan and Ed Husic have been identified as Labor targets.

Clive Palmer.

Clive Palmer. Photo: Andrew Meares

The hit list also includes Prime Minister Tony Abbott's parliamentary secretary Josh Frydenberg and Liberal MP Karen Andrews, who "has told her constituents she has an open mind", said AME national director Rodney Croome.

Mr Croome said many of the 50 MPs had been chosen "because they have no obvious factional or religious affiliation that would preclude them voting for reform, and because their inaugural speeches focused on principles like equality and a fair go".

Mr Croome said Mr Hockey was a target because a survey of his North Sydney electorate showed "80 per cent of young people support marriage equality".

Mr Palmer has been added to the list because he has not ruled out supporting marriage equality, while Mr Frydenberg is seen as an MP supportive of LGBTI issues and has a large LGBTI constituency in his electorate of Kooyong.

Australian Marriage Equality will use Valentine's Day to underline the continued inequality experienced by Australian same-sex couples and will launch a national "We're waiting" marriage equality campaign at Parliament House.

The push to have federal MPs support marriage reform comes after the High Court overturned the ACT's same-sex marriage laws late last year but found the federal Parliament could enact marriage equality laws.

The national campaign will call on voters to target the 50 lower house MPs in their electorates.

Based on the number of MPs who have already declared their support for same-sex marriage, Australian Marriage Equality believes it needs to persuade 25 of the MPs to vote in support of same-sex marriage.

The group expects the Liberal and National parties to debate a conscience vote on marriage reform sometime this year.

"When there is a conscience vote - and we think that is quite likely - we need every single vote to count," Mr Croome said.

"We need to be working in every single one of those electorates with grassroots supporters.''

Mr Croome said the MPs on the list were either undecided on whether to support marriage equality, or said they opposed it but the group believed they could be swayed.

He said there was strong support for marriage equality in Ms Bishop and Mr Pyne's electorates.

22 comments

  • The sooner that an institution is created to recognise homosexual relationships in the community, the sooner we can get on with the important issues facing the nation.

    Commenter
    liklik
    Date and time
    February 14, 2014, 7:18AM
    • Really is this such of importance

      Commenter
      Hardarse
      Date and time
      February 14, 2014, 8:45AM
    • Hardarse, i don't necessarily think so however my solution satisfies all parties. It ensures that traditional marriage remains a heterosexual institution as was always the intention, whilst providing homosexuals with their own institution which recognises the uniqueness of their relationships and provides them with legitimacy.

      Commenter
      liklik
      Date and time
      February 14, 2014, 9:47AM
    • Marriage equality is important issue facing the nation.

      Commenter
      sydney1981
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      February 17, 2014, 1:38AM
  • Get rid of the word gay marriage, put in union. Or have a referrendum. The minority rules again.

    Commenter
    Hardarse
    Date and time
    February 14, 2014, 7:35AM
    • @hardarse, Referrendums are for consitutional change - this is a legislative change, thus the federal government through parliament has to make the decision.

      Commenter
      Tom
      Date and time
      February 14, 2014, 8:38AM
    • I agree that the decision should be made by the people of Australia - a referendum is the democratic solution. We would then know if it is a minority (as Hardarse asserts) or a majority of citizens who are in favour of social reform.

      Commenter
      Bronte
      Date and time
      February 14, 2014, 8:54AM
    • Dear Badarse, the term you are looking for is Marriage Equality. By the way, that's two words not one. Equal treatment before the law is not a minority issue.

      Commenter
      Pree
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      February 14, 2014, 9:06AM
    • What you are referring to is Mob rule. We have laws that prevent this sort of mantality from impacting the imparciality of legislation.

      You don't get a say on my human and legal rights as a citizen of this country, just as I don't have a say in yours.

      The High Court has already ruled on this, so best come up with another approach to deny your fellow Australians the same legislated protections as you enjoy.

      Commenter
      NWO
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      February 14, 2014, 1:11PM
  • I doubt Clive is silly enough to hang his hat on this continuing minority dribble.

    Commenter
    NITRO GANGSTER
    Date and time
    February 14, 2014, 8:53AM

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