World

Australia's ruling party refuses vote on gay marriage bill

Australia's ruling party has rejected a push to allow lawmakers to decide whether the country should recognize gay marriage.

The conservative Liberal Party-led coalition was re-elected in July 2016 with a promise to let voters decide whether Australia should recognize same-sex marriage through a popular vote. But the Senate would not allow the so-called plebiscite.

A crisis meeting of Liberal lawmakers on Monday decided to try again to persuade the Senate to endorse the plebiscite before Parliament considers voting on legislation.

The meeting rejected a proposal by Liberal colleague Dean Smith to allow a vote on a draft bill that would allow gay marriage now.

Finding policy agreement on the issue is a test of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's authority over his fragile government.