SYDNEY (Web Desk) – Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Tuesday suggested a nationwide referendum to decide about legalizing the same sex marriages while saying “any such legal decision must be taken by Australian people themselves”.

Abbott, who previously dismissed the idea of referendum over this issue, went on to say that ruling coalition will take decision to go for free vote, referendum or plebiscite on gay marriages before next elections. However any such referendum will take place after the general election, he said.

Earlier a referendum was conducted in Ireland where people voted in favor of same sex marriages on May 22 this year. Afterwards the Supreme Court of United States also okayed the equal marriage rights for Americans through a ruling.