Liberal MP Warren Entsch this morning introduced his cross-party Bill to legalise same-sex marriage.
In his address to parliament, Mr Entsch warned of a “divided nation” unless gay marriage is legalised.
“The main purpose of this bill is not a complex one. It is to give same-sex couples in Australia the same right to marry the person they love as that which is currently only granted by law to heterosexual couples,” he told the chamber.
“This bill is designed to promote an inclusive Australia, not a divided one.
“A divided nation is what we will be if we continue to allow discrimination in relation to marriage on the basis of a person’s sexuality.”
The Bill is doomed to fail and will likely languish without being taken to a vote.
In last week’s party room meeting a clear majority — two thirds — of Coalition MPs and senators voted to keep the existing position against a conscience vote, effectively ensuring the Bill would be defeated if it went to the floor of parliament.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has promised a popular vote on same sex marriage after the next election.
How the law change is put to a national vote — either by plebiscite or referendum — is expected to be discussed in cabinet later today.