Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
World | By Melba Underwood

Australia says yes to same-sex marriage in postal survey

Australia says yes to same-sex marriage in postal survey

The government promised, if the "yes" vote prevailed, that it would allow the Parliament of Australia to hold a conscience vote on a marriage equality bill.

The fight for equality will be every bit as important after the postal ballot result, and in the parliamentary battle that commences from a Yes victory.

As the "Yes" vote has gotten a majority, PM Malcolm Turnbull's Coalition Government has pledged to facilitate the introduction of a private member's bill into Parliament to legalise same-sex marriage.

Twelve million voted in the poll with 61 per cent voting yes to same-sex marriage.

American rapper Macklemore also became immersed in the debate ahead of singing his 2012 chart-topper Same Love at the NRL grand final on October 1 - angering former prime minister Tony Abbott and right-wing independent MP Bob Katter.

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

Mr Turnbull will arrive back in Australia after a week-long visit to South-East Asia, in time for the Australian Bureau of Statistics to declare the result of the postal survey at 10am this morning, Canberra time. Coalition parliamentarians, who were previously required to vote against marriage equality will now be given a free vote, Labor MPs are nearly universally in favour and a majority of crossbenchers will also support the bill.

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Liberal "Yes" supporter Dean Smith is expected to put forward a bill on same sex marriage today after the Prime Minister dismissed an alternative bill from conservatives.

"I don't agree with the Prime Minister that this (James Paterson) bill makes activities which are now illegal legal", Nationals Senator Matt Canavan told ABC radio.

The results of Malcolm Turnbull government's postal survey on same-sex marriage have been announced.

A young protester cheers in support during a march for marriage equality in Sydney.

"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.

Wong said the bill that everyone should be discussing is the Smith bill which has cross-party support and is due to be debated in the senate on Thursday should there be a yes result.

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