Turnbull in town for gay marriage results

Violet Powell
November 15, 2017

Almost 80 per cent of eligible Australians took part in the voluntary poll, a return rate that compares more than favourably with the 91 per cent who voted at the compulsory 2016 federal election.

"I hope Malcolm Turnbull shows some spine on this, I really do", she said.

Senator Smith said as the Senate was sitting this week, it made "no sense" to delay making marriage equality law in Australia.

"If the result is Yes, our politicians will need to follow through on a Yes result by passing a fair bill that supports true equality". In his opinion piece Senator Paterson said printing companies, broadcasters and venues would be able to turn down business from either side of the debate.

Senator Smith on Tuesday gave notice he would introduce the bill to the Senate on Thursday, presuming the "yes" vote succeeds.

If they do, the government, led by George Brandis in the Senate, a supporter of SSM is likely to enlist cross-party support to guillotine debate and push through the legislation. The legislation allows clergy and religious organisations to refuse to marry gay couples. "I don't think their votes should mean we shouldn't have same-sex marriage, but I do think that their freedoms should be protected and I think my bill is a bill that best does that", he said. "The Smith bill is a balanced bill". But then after the marriage ceremony, the Bill remains silent on what happens if, say, a school teaches that marriage is between a man and a woman.

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This gives the Smith bill an immediate advantage over its legislative rival, a bill penned by Liberal senator James Paterson.

"The objective of the Bill is clear: it creates equal access to marriage while protecting religious freedom in relation to marriage", he said.

"That's why it is necessary to extend the same principle applied in other same-sex marriage bills beyond ministers of religion to anyone else directly connected to a wedding".

"There is no apology for the fact that the Bill does not address free speech or parental rights - because it's a Bill about marriage equality".

He has pledged that if there is a Yes vote in the non-binding poll, he will take steps to change marriage laws.

"In time, there will be no Christmas or Easter".

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