Turnbull cops a battering over same-sex marriage

The Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been grilled relentlessly by reporters over his leadership in the same-sex marriage debate.

During a news conference in Manila, the PM repeatedly fielded questions on whether he would stand up to conservatives who are pushing for changes to the law,  which allow people to refuse services to same-sex couples.

Labor Senator Penny Wong said she hoped the Prime Minister would stand up against the suggested laws.


“I hope Malcolm Turnbull shows some spine on this, I really do,” she said.

“We’ve already had to go through this… we’ve already had to pay $122 million, which is the price of his weakness, it’s time he stood up.”

The suggested laws have been received by supporters of the “yes” vote as a “kick in the teeth” to the gay community and which would roll back the clock on anti-discrimination legislation.

However, Mr Turnbull said his government would not pass legislation which legalised things which at the moment are prohibited by law.

“The government would not countenance making legal, discrimination that is unlawful today,” he said.

While members will be free to suggest any amendments on new legislation Mr Turnbull said calls for such action would have “virtually no prospect of getting through the Parliament”.