In Brief

Tony Abbott bombarded with gay wedding invitations

Couples put pressure on the Australian PM as cross-party vote on marriage equality looms

Same-sex couples in Australia are bombarding Prime Minister Tony Abbott with wedding invitations, as he decides whether his party can have a free vote on marriage equality.

Abbott has long opposed same-sex marriage, but many within his party have indicated that they would back the bill if they are allowed to vote with their consciences later this month.  

The website InviteTony is piling the pressure on Abbott by allowing couples across the country to invite the leader to their wedding celebrations.

"We already have the will of the people," say campaigners. "All we need now is the action of our politicians. Many of them are on board. But there are some who still need convincing - most notably Tony himself."

Pink News notes that "so far the Prime Minister's schedule looks very busy," with over 60 wedding invitations already sent out.

Justine Moss and Romy Calati are among those who have invited Abbott. They have a seven-year-old son Edmund, but the state does not recognise them as legal partners.

"I'm not too concerned if he [Abbott] doesn't believe in same-sex marriage, but he should be allowing his party to have a conscience vote," said Moss. "I want to see change for Edmund. So he sees that our family is no different to any other family. He is just as important with two mothers as he is would be with a mother and a father."  

Last month, opposition leader Bill Shorten accused the leader of standing in the way of progress and equality by not allowing a conscience vote.

"Every day that Tony Abbott denies his MPs a free vote, he is denying millions of Australians a fundamental right [to marriage]," he told The Guardian.

Abbott's own sister, who is gay and wants to get married, has also criticised him for failing the LGBT community.

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