Australia will hold a referendum on legalising gay marriages this year if the Liberal Party of Australia is voted back to power, promised Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The country is going for elections on July 2, reported AFP. Opposition leaders have criticised the Turnbull government terming it “a taxpayer-funded platform for homophobia”.

“Of course, if we are successful on July 2, then I have every expectation that the parliament will swiftly legislate for a plebiscite and a plebiscite will be held shortly after parliament resumes, which I would assume to be in August. We have a very clear policy which is that every Australian will get a vote on the subject," Turnbull said.

Labour Opposition leader Bill Shorten said nobody should have to justify their sexuality or their love to anybody else. "And instead of sitting in judgement, instead of providing a taxpayer-funded platform for homophobia, we will gift every Australian an equal right in respect of love. Nothing less,” he said while launching his election campaign on Sunday. The party has said that it will amend the country's Marriage Act within 100 days of coming to power.