Same-sex marriage: Dean Smith evokes Menzies and Howard in plea for conscience vote | Australia news | The Guardian

“The idea that members in our party are afforded a free vote or a conscience vote on sensitive issues like this one – that is a well-cherished principle, it’s a Menzian principle that John Howard used on no less than five occasions,” Smith said.“I think we will rue the day if we sacrifice those cherished values and principles on this issue.”Howard allowed five conscience votes during his 11-year term – on euthanasia, human cloning, the abortion drug RU486 and two bills relating to embryo research.Whether Smith releases his bill or not, Liberal MPs will meet on the day before parliament sits to resolve the issue of whether there should be a conscience vote on same-sex marriage.Already five lower house Liberal MPs have signalled their support for the bill and urged their party to allow a free vote.

Source: Same-sex marriage: Dean Smith evokes Menzies and Howard in plea for conscience vote | Australia news | The Guardian