AP: Lawmaker Doubts Australia Will Allow Gay Marriage



The chairman of an Australian parliamentary committee that examined gay law reform said Monday that he believes lawmakers will maintain a ban on same-sex marriage when the contentious issue is voted on later this year.

...Committee chairman Graham Perrett, who has two gay brothers and supports gay marriage, said he does not believe a majority of lawmakers share his views.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard, an opponent of gay marriage, will allow members of her center-left Labor Party to make personal choices on how they vote on the legislation. But opposition leader Tony Abbott, a staunch Roman Catholic, will insist that members of his conservative Liberal Party reject gay marriage.

Perrett, a Labor lawmaker, said he believes lawmakers would reject gay marriage even if Abbott allowed members of his party a free vote.

"My reading of it is that would not be the case" that gay marriage would be allowed, Perrett told reporters.