My guess is that it will be a fiery debate and the Libs will stick with their policy (and election promise) of holding a plebiscite before bringing the matter to Parliament.
I was of the opinion that a plebiscite should be held.
However, given feedback from the community and from polling, the majority of Australians now support marriage equality.
Let's face it, regardless of the Libs' decision we all know that the next Labor Government will quickly legalise Gay Marriage.
If the Libs don't (today) allow a conscience vote then they will be doomed at the next election. They must know this, but I reckon they will pig-headily stick to their now out of date plebiscite policy and struggle onwards severely wounded and in need of a new leader. Today, they have an opportunity and they should seize it.
I would have thought that the backbencher proposal to allow marriage celebrants (and priests) to personally decline performing a marriage based on gender is a reasonable compromise.
So, today will determine if we get a new PM and if the Liberals will be mortally wounded at the next election. Australians don't want this matter to linger on and on ...
It's time to move on and deal with the matter now - regardless of some minority viewpoints.
It's time to slip on the Nike(s) and 'just do it'.