Australians support same-sex marriage in survey, paving way for legislation

15 November, 2017, 01:53 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Dean Smith Will Introduce His Same-Sex Marriage Bill Within Hours Of A “Yes” Vote

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday 61.6 percent of voters cast their ballots in support of same-sex marriage.

"The Australian people have tasked us to get this done".

In the days leading up to the postal survey result announcement, there was heated debate about what the same-sex marriage legislation should look like.

Prior to the official count release, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said it's the "goal" that same sex marriage will be legal in Australia by Christmas.

Australia has become increasingly isolated among Western nations on same-sex marriage, with Germany, the USA and Ireland recently joining countries including the United Kingdom and New Zealand in legalizing unions.

Writing in The Australian, Senator Paterson said he'd developed his marriage bill to ensure there were sufficiently robust protects for freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of conscience.

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"At the end of the day, we are in support of getting a bill through parliament that will mean we can have marriage equality", Greens senator Janet Rice said. So when other parties argued that parliament should just change the law itself and opposed a compulsory national vote, Turnbull proposed a compromise: a voluntary opinion poll.

"If we were not to implement a decision on marriage equality, the nation would throw up its hands and give up on the parliament", he told a meeting of opposition senators in Canberra.

There are now two prominent proposals for marriage equality that parliament could take up. A competing bill, likely to divide the governing coalition along ideological lines, would provide much more sweeping protections under anti-discrimination laws to people and businesses who refuse to serve same-sex couples.

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

Australians have made history, voting overwhelming in favor of marriage equality.

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