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Rector challenges Australia’s Opposition leader

09 September 2016

ap

Spotlight: Bill Shorten takes part in a television interview on federal election day, in Sydney, on 2 July

Spotlight: Bill Shorten takes part in a television interview on federal election day, in Sydney, on 2 July

A RECTOR from Canberra has publicly challenged the leader of the Australian Opposition, Bill Shorten, leader of the Australian Labor Party, over his alleged comments that those opposed to same-sex marriage were homophobic.

Confronting Mr Shorten outside the ecumenical church service held for the opening of the new federal parliament, and in front of a large media contingent, the Rector, the Revd Ian Powell, accused Mr Shorten of saying that people who did not favour same-sex marriage were “haters who come out from under rocks”. Mr Shorten replied that Mr Powell should quote him accurately, and asked him not to hector him. Mr Powell, formerly a priest in Sydney, moved to Canberra last year.

The newly elected Liberal-National Coalition Government is committed to holding a non-binding public plebiscite on same-sex marriage next year, but the passing of legislation for the plebiscite is in doubt, given strong opposition within the Parliament.

Some parliamentarians are planning Private Members’ Bills in an attempt to force the Parliament to vote to change the Marriage Act to allow same-sex marriage without holding a plebiscite.

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