Australia: Govt announces postal vote on same-sex marriage

Tori Johnson and his partner Thomas Zinn never had the change to get married

Members of the Liberal Party attended a special meeting in Canberra yesterday and made a decision to stand by the plebiscite policy taken to the 2016 election for a national vote on changing marriage laws, rather than agreeing to a conscience vote.

Marriage equality campaigners have foreshadowed a legal challenge to the postal plebiscite in the event the government proceeds down that path without appropriate underpinning legislation. The postal vote, with an estimated cost of $122 million, will not change the law but simply provide additional guidance about public opinion.

"But above all we respect them so much that. we are doing everything we can to ensure that they have their say". Most likely on Friday and the government will push for the plebiscite to happen on November 25, 2017.

Polls show that the majority of Australians believe same-sex marriage should be legalized.

It would be conducted through the Australian Bureau of Statistics, finance minister Mathias Cormann said, assisted by officers from the Electoral Commission. "You heard me say again and again that every Australian will have a say on this issue", Turnbull said.

A gay-rights activist holds a banner during a rally supporting same-sex marriage in Sydney, Australia.

They will address before the November 7, on a voluntary basis so that the voting is compulsory in Australia for elections as plebiscites. But he still has a strong lead over Mr Shorten as preferred prime minister, with 46 per cent supporting him and 31 per cent backing the opposition leader, with the remainder uncommitted.

"[It] now puts pressure on the "small-l Liberal seven" to bring on a private members bill", Goldner told the Blade.

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An advertising blitz saw that number of unenrolled young people drop dramatically, but more than a year on, there will be many more people who have become old enough to vote and now need to enrol, or who have moved home, changed their name or updated their details enough that the AEC needs to be informed.

Mr Bernardi has said he would vote against gay marriage, regardless of a plebiscite result.

Tasmanian crossbench senator Jacqui Lambie, who voted in favour of the plebscite last November, said she would not support a postal vote.

"It's very disappointing that the Liberal Party has failed to do the right thing by the Australian people, but there is still a way forward", said Rodney Croome, a long-time advocate for marriage rights for same-sex couples in Australia.

The Federal Government said an alternative option would be to hold a voluntary postal plebiscite by the end of the year.

"A non-binding, non-compulsory postal vote is complete BS" Stefanovic explains, "Let's do this simply, confidently and compassionately...why are we stopping people from loving each other?"

Frustrated by the political impasse on the measure, a group of five backbenchers have said they would vote with the opposition Labor Party for a free vote.

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