Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has ruled out the possibility of holding a referendum on the issue of same sex marriage, rejecting a proposal put forward by a member of his own government. 

Visiting Brisbane on Sunday, Tony Abbott was asked whether it was time to let the public have their say on same-sex marriage, following the success of the yes vote in Ireland.

Mr Abbott said he took issue seriously, saying there were “good people” on either side.


“There are a range of views inside the parliament, there are a range of views inside my party room, frankly their are a range of views inside my family,” he told reporters.

The Prime Minister said a referendum would only be held in Australia when there was a proposal to change the constitution.

“I don’t think anyone’s suggesting the constitution needs to be changed in this respect,” he said referring to same sex marriage.

“Under the constitution, questions of marriage are the reserve of the commonwealth parliament… plainly this is a matter that could come before the commonwealth parliament if members of parliament wanted it to be raised.”

Abbott’s rejection of a referendum comes after calls from Liberal Senator Zed Seselja to hold a referendum on same sex marriage following the vote held in Ireland over the weekend.

“If you are going to make such a fundamental change it should go to a referendum. I think there is a reasonable argument for that,” Senator Zed Seselja told the ABC on Sunday.

 Article | Levi Joule.