Australia says yes to same-sex marriage in historic postal survey

Australia says yes to same-sex marriage in historic postal survey

Australia says yes to same-sex marriage in historic postal survey

Labor Senator Penny Wong says if the same-sex marriage survey returns a No result, then Labor would aim to legislate for marriage equality.

When interviewed, Paterson said his bill would give people the right to "conscientiously object and not participate".

At 9.00am AEST this morning, Australian's will know the official result of the same-sex marriage postal survey.

The result is expected to mirror a myriad of opinion polls pointing to a win for the "yes" campaign, possibly as high as 60 per cent.

The bill will be introduced in to the Senate on Wednesday for debate on Thursday and the Labor leader, Bill Shorten, has offered the opposition's support to help "stare down the conservatives seeking to delay marriage equality".

Almost 80 per cent of Australians took part in the voluntary vote, which asked whether or not the law should be changed to allow same sex couples to marry. Newspoll results published yesterday saw the Yes vote climb to 63 per cent.

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Cabinet minister Simon Birmingham has described the Smith bill as a "logical starting point" for a parliamentary debate on same-sex marriage.

However, even with the "Yes" vote getting up, the survey result is non-binding on the Australian Government to legalise same-sex marriage.

Same-sex marriage is legal in England, Wales and Scotland. But he may have to compete with another bill from conservative Liberal Senator James Paterson that contains provisions such as allowing "conscientious objections" for people who don't wish to cater for gay weddings due to their religious beliefs. In an interview in October, Turnbull said that the bill could be dealt with before Christmas.

An estimated 13 million Australians have returned their postal surveys in the nationwide ballot - a bigger percentage than voted in the UK's Brexit referendum. "One where everyone's treated with respect and dignity, where we believe in a society built on commitment and responsibility", he told Sky News. The outcome will boost marriage equality campaigners in Northern Ireland and elsewhere. The ABC asked all MPs how they would vote if a bill for SSM came before the house and on their count the bill would pass.

"A yes vote can not and should not and must not become a moment where others try to unravel existing anti-discrimination law", he said.

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