Published: Wed, August 09, 2017
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Turnbull sets December 7 deadline for same-sex marriage verdict

Turnbull sets December 7 deadline for same-sex marriage verdict

The details of Australian government's plan to try and hold a public vote on marriage equality were revealed today.

Anti-gay marriage advocates support the referendum, despite opinion polls showing that most Australians agree with marriage equality. 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".

It will be organised through the Australian Bureau of Statistics and cost $122 million.

"All Australians who are enrolled on the Commonwealth Electoral Roll will get the opportunity to express their view through the postal plebiscite process", acting special minister of state Mathias Cormann told SBS World News.

Queensland Liberal MP Warren Entsch, who is among Liberal MPs pushing for a free vote, says he reserves his right to take his own course of action on same-sex marriage but is happy to give a plebiscite another go.

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.

His colleague Andrew Laming said those pushing for a free vote didn't need to be told to desist their campaign "because they won't".

Liberal MPs met for two hours last night, where they voted to put a plebiscite before Parliament for a second-time.

He blasted both sides of politics, saying Opposition Leader Bill Shorten was "determined to wedge (Malcolm) Turnbull to ensure marriage reform is delayed until he himself is the one who gets to sign off on it".

The conservative Liberal Party-led coalition was narrowly re-elected in July 2016 with a promise to let voters decide whether Australia should recognize same-sex marriage through a popular vote.

Senator Nick Xenophon, whose minor party opposed the plebiscite in the November vote, said gay marriage would become an election issue if the plebiscite was blocked by the senate or the courts.

"I don't think the ABS has the authority to run the plebiscite to be truthful", he said.

The result would be revealed on November 15 if an optional postal vote was held instead.

"I've said for many years that I want marriage equality in Australia, and I've campaigned for it", Mr. Pyne said on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation program "Q&A".

Stefanovic's rant starts off strong, describing Australia as a country "governed by fools" with a government "ironically incapable of leadership".

"This is more about the fear and naivety of non-gay people than anything to do with the problem of gay marriage".

"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.

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