In a welcome step away from the whole plebiscite, “determine human rights via opinion poll” rhetoric, Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman has confirmed that there’s a push for a free vote on marriage equality within the government.
The North Sydney MP said the government should abandon the plebiscite, after it was successfully killed off by Labor, and that a free-vote would naturally be the best way forward.
“The plebiscite has failed, the parliament has indicated it won’t support it.”“So we need a pathway forward and it’s my strong view that the best pathway would be a free vote in the parliament.”
Zimmerman also confirmed that he’d push his case with Malcolm Turnbull when the opportunity arose, and hopes a free vote might be possible within the year.
His announcement follows bizarre reports that fellow MP, Immigration Minister and general sack-of-shit Peter Dutton has counterintuitively been pushing for marriage equality behind the scenes in an effort for the Coalition to claim credit and control the legislation.
For his efforts, Zimmerman has more sincere reasons behind his advocacy, marching in a conservation float at this year’s Mardi Gras and making history as Australia’s first openly gay member of the House of Representatives.
And while at this point the free vote is just talk, with the party still officially backing a plebiscite (urgh gross), Zimmerman’s comments are a welcome show of progress on the issue and a good reminder that, while the Coalition has a largely terrible track record on LGBTIQ rights, there are still conservative members of the LGBTIQ community.
So good work Zimmerman and keep up the fight for equality gang, regardless of where you land on the political spectrum.
Photo: Facebook / Trent Zimmerman.