Decision day arrives for same-sex marriage in Australia — Postal survey results

Adjust Comment Print

On Tuesday, Mr Turnbull slapped down his conservative colleagues by declaring Australians would not accept any watering down of existing anti-discrimination laws.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said Labor would give the Smith bill "very favourable consideration".

The good news is that the turnaround time for the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey is going to be quite fast.

That will be all for nothing - or the $122 million cost of the survey - if a "no" vote prevails.

"After the result is known on Wednesday, it is my intention to canvass support to introduce a Bill this week". In his opinion piece Senator Paterson said printing companies, broadcasters and venues would be able to turn down business from either side of the debate.

"Assuming there is a Yes vote tomorrow - the pollsters will really be rocked if there isn't - but assuming there is, there will be a Private Members Bill and amendments can be moved and if people want to move an amendment of that kind, well, you know, they can", he said.

"Like millions of other Australians, I will be disappointed if there is a No result, but I will uphold my original commitment and present my Bill to the Senate without any expectation it will be debated", he said. All amendments would be subject to a free vote of Coalition, Labor and crossbench MPs.


Senator Paterson said he was a supporter of same sex marriage but also believed there was a need for religious freedoms to be protected. But then after the marriage ceremony, the Bill remains silent on what happens if, say, a school teaches that marriage is between a man and a woman.

A private bill, proposed by West Australian Liberal senator Dean Smith, has been labelled the "starting point" by senior government ministers.

"It was part of the journey in Ireland [during the referendum on marriage equality], the issue of freedom to discriminate against people, but that debate lasted a couple of hours because Irish people remember what those signs look like".

It also includes exemptions so religious organisations can refuse to conduct same-sex marriages.

He has pledged that if there is a Yes vote in the non-binding poll, he will take steps to change marriage laws.

"There will be no he or she, no husband or wife, no father, mother - all these words will be gone", the Perth-based Christian pastor said.

Comments