The postal survey, which cost $122 AUSD million, asked voters to answer either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ the question ‘should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?’
Results announced on November 15, showed 61.6 per cent are in favour of marriage equality while 38.4 per cent are not.
All states and territories returned a majority ‘Yes’ result, reports News AU. Interestingly, Warringah, the seat of former Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s 75 per cent voted ‘Yes’ despite Abbott being a vociferous opponent of marriage equality.
“It may have been 61 percent who voted yes in the survey, but I want to say to all LGBTIQ Australians you are 100 percent loved, 100 per cent valued, and after the next two weeks of Parliament, 100 per cent able to marry the person that you love,” Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten told thousands of overjoyed campaigners in Melbourne.
? THANK YOU ?
This all happened because of you.
We did this together. pic.twitter.com/4vWuIj9bpB
— AU Marriage Equality (@AMEquality) November 14, 2017
— Tom Cowie (@tom_cowie) November 14, 2017
— Scott Cuthbertson (@ScotCuthbertson) November 14, 2017
“Today we celebrate, tomorrow we legislate.”
A bill for same-sex marriage will be introduced to the senate before parliament today, before being debated for what is likely to be a number of weeks.
There are two potential bills being considered as ‘templates’. One, raised by Senator James Paterson, would grant those opposed to same-sex marriage an ‘objection of conscience’ clause if marriage equality becomes law. Another, authored by Liberal Senator Dean Smith contains exemptions that would allow religious organisations to refuse to conduct gay marriages. Only Smith’s bill contained bipartisan support.
At this point it is unclear what form a final bill will ultimately take, but the extent of religious exemptions – if any will be included at all – will be a central point of discussion.
Prime Minister Turnbull told reporters that it is his goal to have same-sex marriage legislation introduced before Christmas – parliamentary delays permitting.
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