Australian PM dismisses same-sex marriage referendum idea

Canberra, May 24: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has dismissed the idea of a referendum on same-sex marriage in the country after Ireland voted in favour of amending the country's constitution on the issue.

"Questions of marriage are the preserve of the Commonwealth Parliament," reported ABC on Sunday citing the prime minister.


"Referendums are held in this country where there's a proposal to change the constitution," he said, adding: "I don't think anyone is suggesting the constitution needs to be changed in this respect."

Australian Capital Territory Liberal senator Zed Seselja said he did not support gay marriage, but there was a reasonable case for a referendum in the country.

"A vote by parliament is all that is needed and Tony Abbott should allow his party a (conscience) vote on the subject. Cupid doesn't discriminate and neither should the law," Seselja added.

With all votes from the country's 43 constituencies counted, Ireland has approved same-sex marriage with 1.2 million people voting in its favour.

At Dublin Castle, Returning Officer Riona Ni Fhlanghaile on Saturday declared that a total of 1,201,607 people (62.1 percent) voted in favour with 734,300 (37.9 percent) against, giving a majority of 467,307. The total valid poll was 1,935,907, Xinhua reported.


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