tardy for the party

Why Didn’t Australia’s 2 Lesbian Senators Bother Showing Up to Vote on Gay Marriage?

Australia’s Senate last month voted 45-5 to shoot down the Marriage Equality Bill, which would grant same-sex couples full marriage rights. Some 26 senators didn’t even show up. Among them, Sens. Penny Wong (pictured) and Louise Pratt, who are both gay. “In what pundits say is a telling sign, 26 senators did not turn up to the vote, with both major parties opting not to allow a conscience vote on the issue. Openly gay WA Labor senator Louise Pratt was also absent from the vote. The Age reported senior ministers including Wong were tied up in a cabinet meeting. Australian Marriage Equality national convenor Alex Greenwich said low turnout for the vote shows there is ‘dissent’ within the major parties. ‘The fact that 26 senators were absent from today’s debate is an indication that there is dissent in the ranks of the major parties, dissent which we believe will only grow,’ he said.” [Star Observer]