Australia: Marriage Equality Could Come To A Head Next Week And Whew, What A Day

It's crunch time, folks – well, maybe. The long-speculated private members' bill on marriage equality is reportedly hitting the government party room next week. 

BuzzFeed News understands a private members' bill is in the works, ahead of it possibly being presented to the government party room as early as next week.

The private members' bill would legalise marriage equality and likely be designed to allow religious ministers and a new category of religious civil celebrants to refuse to preside over same-sex weddings.

It sets the stage for a potentially explosive party room meeting in the coming weeks.

The speculation comes after a hectic Monday of same-sex marriage chat, which began with a PR blitz from pro-marriage equality Liberals suggesting it was time to push ahead on the issue.

“There is still a number of ways to achieve reform," Brisbane MP Trevor Evans told The Australian. "But I think the quickest and most likely course now is to allow politicians to have a free vote … and I support that."

On Sky News Victorian MP Tim Wilson said he would be talking to his colleagues about the challenge on marriage equality in coming weeks.

"I always said politely that the plebiscite wasn’t my first preference for a way to deal with this issue," he said. "I also have a personal conflict which torments, frankly, and challenges me on a daily basis, and I’d like to see this issue resolved."

But in response to all this, prime minister Malcolm Turnbull did not issue a public slap down – instead, giving what some political watchers have interpreted as a green light for the marriage equality rebels. Read more via Buzzfeed