Australia’s ruling party meets to resolve gay marriage rift

CANBERRA, Australia

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s ruling party will attempt to resolve bitter internal differences over gay marriage at a special meeting aimed at containing a rift that threatens the prime minister’s leadership.

Finding policy agreement at the meeting on Monday is a test of prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s authority over his government, which trails the opposition party in successive opinion polls.

The conservative Liberal Party-led coalition was narrowly re-elected a year ago with a campaign promise to let voters decide whether Australia should recognize same-sex marriage through a popular vote. But the Senate blocked the plan.

Liberal Sen. Dean Smith has drafted a bill to allow gay marriage and wants his fellow Liberal lawmakers to be allowed to vote on it according to their consciences rather than to according to party policy.

Categories: International News