Australian MP says government should introduce gay marriage in 100 days after election

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Coalition MP Warren Entsch has called on the government to introduce same-sex marriage within 100 days of re-election.

Entsch, who has been an outspoken advocate of same-sex marriage, said the Turnbull-led Government should at least have a timetable in place for a public vote, or plebiscite, within the hundred days.

“Labor has made a pledge to implement same-sex marriage within 100 days, and I reckon we should be doing it within 100 days too,” Entsch said.

“I would like to believe, and I think we can do it, that we have the question finalised and the timetable known prior to the next election,” he said.

“I will be working with him [Turnbull] on that,” he went on.

Malcolm Turnbull, who is perceived as a moderate, took over as Prime Minister last week after his party voted to oust Tony Abbott – a strong conservative and opponent of same-sex marriage.

As a vote in Parliament loomed last month, Mr Abbott put plans in place for a plebiscite (public vote) on equal marriage. His actions averted a showdown on the issue, but also caused a lengthy delay – as the plebiscite will not take place until  2017.

New PM Mr Turnbull has affirmed his support for the plebiscite, but equality activists have urged him to consider dropping the plans – and instead allowing a simple free vote to go ahead in Parliament.

Opinion polls have found an overwhelming public majority in favour of same-sex marriage, leading activists to criticise the planned plebiscite as a stalling tactic.