Sunday, 17 December, 2017

How Australia Voted In The Same-Sex Marriage Survey

David Gray  Reuters                       A marcher holds aloft a sign while participating in a marriage equality march in central Sydney Australia David Gray Reuters A marcher holds aloft a sign while participating in a marriage equality march in central Sydney Australia
Lucia Summers | 14 November, 2017, 18:55

The one time you're called to actually vote in line with the wishes of the Australian re The 7 electorate and you wuss out.

The federal government is facing mounting pressure from conservatives to ensure religious freedoms are protected if the "Yes" campaign sees a same-sex marriage victory tomorrow morning.

Paterson is a supporter of same-sex marriage who has been outspoken about the need to protect religious freedom.

"What the government has always said is if there's a "yes" vote then we will facilitate debate in the parliament before the end of the year, on a private member's bill or private senator's bill, and that we would respect and accommodate and allow for religious exemptions", he said.

The draft Marriage Amendment (Definition and Protection of Freedoms) Bill 2017 to legalise same-sex marriage, released by Senator James Paterson yesterday, represents an "extraordinary and perilous" winding back of Australia's anti-discrimination laws under the cover of marriage equality, according to the Law Council of Australia.

Debates are expected to kick off with Senator Dean Smith's bill.

Almost eight in 10 Australians who received the Australian Bureau of Statistics same-sex marriage survey form have already had their say.

Nevertheless, discussions are well under underway as to how same-sex marriage might be legislated.

Labor Senator Penny Wong said she hoped the Prime Minister would stand up against the suggested laws.

"If we were not to implement a decision on marriage equality, the nation would throw up its hands and give up on the parliament", he told a meeting of opposition senators in Canberra.

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"For those who want to see the marriage certificate, they're the ones waiting".

While businesses would be able to boycott gay marriages, they would otherwise have to comply with existing anti-discrimination laws.

The move has inflamed tensions between the conservatives and moderates in the party and set the stage for a lengthy parliamentary debate over religious freedoms and anti-discrimination laws.

Mr Brandis said parliament would start the debate on same-sex marriage legalisation with Senator Smith's bill, if a "yes" vote is victorious.

"It would be self-defeating to repeal discrimination and replace it with discrimination", he said.

If the result is Yes, Liberal and Labor MPs will have a free vote in Parliament.

On Wednesday, Australia will finally know how more than 12 million people voted in the eight-week poll, with a Yes result meaning gay couples could get married before Christmas.

"This is just another attempt to delay passing marriage equality".

"They can be debated ... but they shouldn't be confused with this bill which is created to deliver marriage equality".

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