Same-sex marriage bill introduced in Australia by opposition leader

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The leader of Australia’s Labor Party has introduced a bill to legalise same-sex marriage.

The opposition leader Bill Shorten last week said his party will move a private members bill to legalise same-sex marriage.

Mr Shorten released a statement saying”It’s time for marriage equality”, and tweeted that the bill would “finally” implement same-sex marriage in Australia.

“I know this private members bill will not have the universal support of my colleagues.”

The bill was introduced by Mr Shorten on Monday in the lower house of the Australian Parliament, however only five of the Coalition Government’s MPs turned up for the introduction.

It will attempt to put pressure on the Australian Government to legalise same-sex marriage sooner, not later.

Introducing the bill, Mr Shorten said: “The laws of our nation should give us hope. Our laws should tell our children what we believe. Our laws should tell strangers who Australians are.”

“It is time,” he said to applause.

Moves to legalise same-sex marriage have been met with strong opposition by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Speaking on Monday, Mr Abbott said he did not want a vote on same-sex marriage to distract from legislation to help small businesses.

“I accept that same-sex marriage is a significant issue,” he said, speaking to reporters.

“But frankly, this government’s absolute fundamental priority … is to get the most urgent budget measures through and by far the most urgent budget measure is the small business budget boost,” Mr Abbott continued.

Government MPs were criticised, as very few turned up for the introduction of the bill.

Mr Abbott’s out lesbian sister, however, has predicted that the country will have same-sex marriage by the end of the year.