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Australia’s Gay Marriage Referendum Loses Support Among LGBT-Friendly Politicians

PM Malcom Turnbull
Malcolm Turnbull/Twitter

Moderate and liberal parties oppose the costly, non-binding national poll and prefer to vote on the issue in Parliament.

Delays, high costs, and a general lack of support from the Australian people have been only some of the many hurdles facing the country's proposed referendum on same-sex marriage.

Now, members of Parliament are formally withdrawing their support for the nationwide public vote.

Several parties, notably Green and Labor, announced they opposed the referendum after the majority Coalition party and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull released more details on the vote last week.

Both parties, and Turnbull, support marriage equality. The Labor opposition, however, believes that same-sex marriage should be decided by Parliament and worries a compulsory public vote would bring out massive, disruptive campaigns from both sides of the issue.

According to the Associate Press, Turnbull promised the plebiscite to earn the support of conservative party members so he could overtake Tony Abbott to become the next prime minister.

The vote, which has been delayed until next spring, would cost about US$120 million.

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