Australians to vote on legalizing same-sex marriage

The death of Tori Johnson at the end of Sydney's Lindt cafe siege in 2014 moved Senator Smith
The death of Tori Johnson at the end of Sydney's Lindt cafe siege in 2014 moved Senator Smith

09 August, 2017

Anna Brown, an LGBT activist and representative of the Equality Campaign, vowed to fight a postal plebiscite in court if Parliament continued to refuse to vote on same-sex marriage.

Australian Marriage Equality co-chair Alex Greenwich said the government's approach to marriage equality had gone "well beyond a joke". Forster on Monday noted to the Blade that marriage rights for same-sex couples have "broad community support and would do nothing more than bring us into line with the USA, U.K., New Zealand, Canada, Ireland and other countries" in which "same-sex marriage is legal and has had absolutely no detrimental impact".

"Here's what I think", Stefanovic said.

The Australian Marriage Equality organisation made it clear it still wants to see a free vote.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann argued that the Whitlam government's decision to ask the ABS to survey 60,000 Australians by telephone poll to ask their opinion on the national anthem served as a precedent.

Labor frontbencher Terri Butler said it was disappointing the Liberal Party continued to put up more obstacles to marriage equality. Voting on the plebiscite would be compulsory and failure to vote would be punishable by a fine.

The Turnball government announced yesterday that it would take its same-sex marriage plebiscite bill to the Senate this week.

The government estimates the postal plebiscite would cost around $122 million - roughly $50 million less than the estimated cost of the full, in-person plebiscite.

The ballots for a postal vote will be sent out on September 12 with the aim of having them returned and counted by November 15.

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Late a year ago, the Australian Upper House Senate rejected a government proposal on the matter, with opponents saying they believed it was best dealt with by a free vote in Parliament.

Mr Turnbull is a personal supporter of same-sex marriage, but during his own leadership bid gave private assurances to his party's anti-LGBT lobby that he would stick by the plebiscite plan.

Labor has slammed the postal plebiscite option, with opposition leader Bill Shorten calling it a "colossal waste of time and money".

The latest attempt to resurrect the debate around same-sex marriage was triggered after a group of rebel politicians inside the government began a push to ditch the plebiscite as official government policy.

"Strong leaders carry out their promises".

He concluded: 'Vote in Parliament and say "yes" to gay marriage and let's live happily ever after'.

The 2016 Census indicated there is a total of 47,000 same-sex couples living in Australia - up from 33,000 in 2011 - which means a growing number of people will be affected by the results of the vote.

"The Coalition supports the traditional definition of marriage between a man and a woman, but we won't seek to bind people beyond this term of Parliament and in the next will be the people's decision", Abbott said at the time.

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