This is the very first thing Shorten says he'll do

LEGISLATING marriage equality would be the first piece of legislation a Bill Shorten Government would introduce.

Speaking at the National Press Club on Tuesday the Labor leader said changing the Marriage Act would be his first priority.

Mr Shorten stated again he would abandon the Coalition's plans to hold a plebiscite into the issue which he said would lead to government-funded hate speech.

"No $160 million plebiscite, no hurtful, hateful government-sponsored advertising campaign for us," he said.

The Coalition has committed to a public vote on support for marriage equality if they are re-elected. 

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has suggested the vote could be held later this year.

But Mr Turnbull has faced pressure from conservative elements of the Liberal Party on if the referendum will be binding. 

Topics:  editors picks federal election 2016 malcolm turnbull marriage equality marriage equality australia

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