Australia votes in favour of same-sex marriage

Jerome Frank
November 15, 2017

The yes vote on the non-binding postal survey now means that pressure is on parliament to move forward on legislation that would allow same-sex couples to Wednesday in the country.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has arrived back in Australia in time for the release of the final same-sex marriage postal survey results.

Various opinion polls point to a majority "yes" vote, possibly as high as 60 per cent.

Advocates of same-sex unions criticized parliament for holding the postal vote - saying the nearly two-month campaign saw a surge in calls to mental-health helplines as opponents warned that changing the law could harm children and lead to radical sex education in schools.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics will announce the results of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey in Canberra at 10am today.

But even ahead of the release of the results, conservative politicians inside the Australian parliament were preparing for a fight over how marriage equality would be legalized.

Tiernan Brady, the director of Australian Marriage Equality, told HuffPost Australia the religious freedoms argument run counter-intuitive to the idea of having a vote for marriage equality.

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Same-sex marriage is legal in England, Wales and Scotland. Given the combination of moderate Liberals, Labor and the Greens in the Senate, it's unlikely any conservative amendments would succeed. 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.

"It is a process that we have to conclude by Christmas if we're going to keep faith with the Australian people", Mr Zimmerman said.

"It think it indicates what modern Australia is", he told Sky News.

After months of fierce debate on both sides, supporters of marriage equality are expected to emerge victorious.

Labor Senator Penny Wong, who has co-signed Senator Smith's bill, said Senator Paterson's proposal was a "distraction".

The postal survey saw 16 million registered voters among Australia's population of 24 million asked for their views on overturning the prohibition.

Greenwich said the campaign had made more than 1m phone calls and knocked 100,000 doors, an "unprecedented" level of support that had exceeded "any campaign in our history".

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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