FIRM VIEWS: Senator Eric Abetz.
FIRM VIEWS: Senator Eric Abetz. LUKAS Cochaap

LNP split over marriage equality

THE push for a private member's bill on same-sex marriage continued to ferment disunity in the Coalition on Friday

Education Minister Christopher Pyne said it had not been helpful for the leader of the government in the Senate, Eric Abetz, to call on frontbenchers who supported same-sex marriage to resign as ministers.

Cabinet ministers Malcolm Turnbull and Greg Hunt and junior ministers Simon Birmingham, Josh Frydenberg, Marise Payne and Kelly O'Dwyer have all supported marriage equality.

"The Prime Minister's made it absolutely clear many times that everyone can have a different view on this matter and their views need to be respected," Mr Pyne told Channel 9.

It emerged on Thursday that Liberal MP Warren Entsch, seconded by Labor's Terri Butler, would move a marriage equality bill on August 11, leading to the pushback by conservative elements of the Coalition.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Friday that some Liberal opponents of the reform had warned pre-selections of MPs who supported same-sex marriage would come under threat.

The Prime Minister's sister, Christine Forster, directly challenged Mr Abbott on Friday to allow his MPs a free vote on the cross-party same-sex marriage bill.

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