Labour in Australia has given a strong indication same-s*x marriage will be legalised, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s righthand man declaring the party will make it happen.
Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese made the declaration while being interviewed on a youth radio station.
But Mr Albanese later sought to clarify his comment, saying the issue was still a matter for a conscience vote and that history showed the Labour side of politics had always been the one to reform gay and lesbian rights.
His comments came after Mr Rudd last week declared he would hold a plebiscite or a national referendum on the issue if Opposition Leader Tony Abbott did not allow a conscience vote for Coalition MPs.
Asked on Triple J’s Hack show, an Australian youth show, if Labor would make gay marriage happen, Mr Albanese, restricted to one-word answers, said: “Yes”.
Mr Albanese later told News Limited: “While marriage equality is a matter for a conscience vote, history has shown that the removal of discrimination in Australia has been led by Labour.
“After the election the Liberal and National parties should also allow its members the right of a conscience vote on this important issue.”
Neighbouring New Zealand had earlier in the year legalized gay marriage, and many Australians had since been going to New Zealand to legalized their union, though it remains illegal in their country.