The Australian Senate has called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to act on same-sex marriage – sooner rather than later.
Mr Turnbull has committed to a plebiscite after the next election but, as it stands, that is unlikely to happen until 2017.
The Australian Senate, where the Coalition government does not have an overall majority, last week passed a motion rejecting proposals for a public vote – instead calling for an immediate free vote in Parliament.
According to GNN, the motion from Greens senator Robert Simms (pictured) was backed with a clear majority vote.
They were taking part in a debate on a Bill that seeks to define marriage as a union of two people and recognise gay couples married overseas.
“Momentum continues to build for marriage equality in this country,” he said.
“Today the Australian Senate rejected a divisive and costly plebiscite and instead called on the Prime Minister to grant a free vote on marriage equality.
“Australians don’t want another opinion poll on this issue. They want the Parliament to legislate.”
There is no obligation for the House of Representatives to accept the recommendation – but campaigners remain hopeful.
“Can anyone seriously suggest that we should be spending more than $100 million of taxpayer funds on a question we already know the answer to?” Mr Simms said.
“The last thing I want is to see taxpayer money being spent on a divisive campaign against marriage equality, what in effect would become a state-sanctioned state-funded hate campaign.”