Australian Lawmakers Push Again For National Gay Marriage Vote
00:07, Aug 9, 2017
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Australia will hold a voluntary postal vote on whether to legalise gay marriage if parliament rejects plans for a plebiscite on the contentious issue, the prime minister said yesterday.
Turnbull's reasoning for the plebiscite and postal vote is that it will allow "all Australians to have their say".
Some in the government are hopeful that marriage equality groups could swing behind the original plebiscite proposal if the alternative is a postal vote.
An AEC spokesman told HuffPost Australia they were still getting all the info about the plebiscite and how the voting process would work, and that the AEC was unsure when the cut-off date for changing your details would be. The government on Tuesday endorsed the party decision to ask the Senate this week to reconsider allowing the plebiscite, which would be held November 25.
Sydney's Catholic Archbishop Anthony Fisher and his Anglican counterpart, Archbishop Glenn Davies, have criticised a proposed Bill to permit same-sex marriage in Australia as failing to protect religious freedom.
Labor MPs would get a conscience vote on it if the bill came to parliament, which is possible if the compulsory or voluntary plebiscites pass.
"We do not accept, and will never accept, the demeaning terms and conditions the government has attached to marriage equality".
"Every Australian will get to have a say", Turnbull told reporters in Canberra.
They also said a postal vote could be unconstitutional and might be challenged in the High Court, local media reported.
The postal plebiscite will cost an estimated $122 million, approximately $50 million less than a full, compulsory plebiscite, and $122 million more than a free vote in parliament.
We'll see what he has to say about that when the Australian people vote him out.
After weeks of debate between the two major parties about the best way to have the issue decided, the government has announced that a plebiscite, or public vote, would occur later this year, with the plebiscite bill to be introduced into the Senate later this week.
According to reports, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that a vote on legalizing same-sex marriage could be held by the end of year.
In an interesting move, it will also apparently be run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), for reasons that will shortly become apparent.
If a majority of voters in either scenario check the "yes" box, parliament would then vote on the measure in December.
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Same-sex couples can engage in contracts of civil union and recognition of their relationship in most australian states, but these unions are not recognized at the federal level.
The Equality Campaign dialled back its threat to launch legal action the day after a postal vote was floated, saying instead there was a "strong, strong prospect" of a challenge.
If most Australians want gay marriage, the Parliament would vote on legislation before the last two-week session of Parliament of the year ends on December 7.
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