Marriage vote to occur before year's end


There's a real possibility that, at the end of this all, we'd still be left without a plebiscite.

Finance minister Mathias Cormann, the government's deputy senate leader and an opponent of same-sex marriage, said on Tuesday that some type of plebiscite was essential if parliament was to decide the marriage equality question.

"This decision goes another step closer towards recognising marriage equality as an global human rights issue".

The good news? Same-sex marriage could be legal in Australia before Christmas.

"It won't be me only, the whole show would blow up", Broad told the Sunraysia Daily newspaper.

"That would appear to cover a postal vote conducted by either the Electoral Commission or the Bureau of Statistics, but we are seeking further advice to establish the constitutionality of the current proposal".

ABC News reported that Members of Parliament (MPs) from the governing Liberal Party, which is conservative in its ideology, voted in an internal meeting against allowing a free vote in parliament on the issue.

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 opposition of the gay community was a decisive consideration in Labor's voting against the plebiscite legislation when it was in parliament initially.

Last October, the Senate blocked the government's plebiscite election promise in a 33-29 vote, but the government plans to reintroduce the bill again within days.

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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. Voters could see the ballot as soon as September 12 and would have until November 7 to return their ballot.

A previous plebiscite Bill was rejected last November by the Senate, where Labor, the Greens and some other minor party MPs prefer an immediate free vote.

That measure would make same-sex marriage legal by a national vote, while allowing religious leaders to refuse performing the rites to whoever they wish. 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.

In spite of a public opinion largely in favour of marriage for all, Australia is the trailer of the many western countries that have authorized it.

A plebiscite bill was introduced by the government past year, but defeated in the Senate by 33 votes to 29.

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

And since the vote is nonbinding, Australia's Parliament is under no obligation to change marriage laws, even if the public supports such a move.

Beginning his rant, Stefanovic said it would come as a surprise to no one that we are "governed by fools" and labelled federal politicians "middle aged suits, oblivious to the cost of childcare or a mortgage" who were "ironically incapable of leadership".