Shock ousting gives new hope for Aussie gay marriage

Prime Minister-designate of Australia  Malcolm Turnbull - (Pic: Eva Rinaldi)

Prime Minister-designate Malcolm Turnbull – (Pic: Eva Rinaldi)

Anti gay marriage Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been ousted as Australia’s leader by one more supportive of same-sex marriage.

On Monday, the dominant Liberal Party held a surprise vote on whether Abbott should remain its leader. The ballot saw Abbott receiving 44 votes while Malcolm Turnbull, the Minister for Communications, secured 54.

This means that as the newly elected leader of the Liberals, Turnbull will also become Prime Minister of Australia.

Abbott has not been a well-liked leader. His stubborn refusal to support same-sex marriage or allow Liberal Party MPs in Parliament to do so has flown in the face of considerable public backing for marriage equality.

Turnbull, on the other hand, has previously expressed support for same-sex marriage. It remains unclear, however, how this will play out as not all his colleagues in the Liberal Party feel the same.

Many hope that Turnbull will allow a free vote on the issue in Parliament, which could see same-sex marriage finally legalised in Australia .

Polls indicate that between 60% and 70% of Australians are in favour of marriage equality.

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