Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Gay marriage legalisation bid fails

Two women show their support for same-sex marriages in Sydney, Australia (AP)

Australian politicians have overwhelmingly rejected a bill that would have legalised gay marriage.

The House of Representatives voted 98-42 against the legislation.

It was the first of four bills introduced to Parliament that aim to lift the country's ban on same-sex marriages.

A separate bill was also being debated in the Senate.

Polls show that most Australians support gay marriage. But the Liberal Party-led conservative opposition coalition and many in the ruling centre-left Labour Party are against it.

Australian law defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Labour lifted its long-standing opposition to gay marriage last year, but prime minister Julia Gillard remains opposed to it.

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