Simply no: Windsor won't support marriage equality
Key Independent MP Tony Windsor has rubbished the chances of marriage equality legislation succeeding through Federal Parliament anytime soon while declaring that he himself was unlikely to support any bill on the issue.
It is expected that legislation will be introduced sometime this year, with Labor MP Stephen Jones having signalled that he will move a private member’s bill to amend the Marriage Act to allow for marriage equality following the Labor Party’s decision late last year to make same-sex marriage part of its policy platform.
With Prime Minister Julia Gillard only allowing Labor MPs a conscience vote on the issue, the success of any future bill lays with Coalition Leader Tony Abbott granting a conscience vote, as well as the support of a number of Independent MPs such as Windsor.
The New England MP told AAP that although he was yet to see the details of any bill, he thought it was unlikely to succeed in any event.
“It’s got a very limited chance of getting through,” Windsor told AAP.
“If (the wording) is as simple as ‘Will I support gay marriage?’ I would say ‘no’.”
Windsor’s comments will come as a blow to marriage equality advocates such as Alex Greenwich, from Australian Marriage Equality, who last year met with Windsor (pictured) and other key Independents such as Rob Oakeshott, Nick Xenophon and Andrew Wilkie over dinner in a bid to gauge their support.
The other Independent MP, Bob Katter – a vociferous opponent of same-sex marriage – did not attend the dinner held last October.
Out of all the Independents, only Wilkie has publicly expressed his support for marriage equality.
Ahead of the ALP National Conference held last December, Windsor had told reporters that while “a lot of people” were interested in marriage equality “from a range of perspectives” he didn’t believe that too many people would care if Labor supported the changes or not.