Senator to introduce marriage equality bill immediately pending 'yes' vote

Randolph Lopez
November 15, 2017

Marriage equality campaigners seized on the result of the postal vote, and said Australia should quickly become the 25th nation to legalize same-sex unions.

The latest polls suggest more than 60 per cent of people have voted yes.

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.

Thirteen years after the Howard government changed the law to prevent same-sex marriage, Australians have now backed the historic social reform, with 61.6 voting "Yes" to 38.4 for "No".

The result will be revealed at 10am AEDT, live from the Australian Bureau of Statistics in Canberra.

The fundamental change is simple enough: removing the declaration, inserted in 2004 under John Howard, that marriage in Australia is the union of "a man and a woman" (although, as just one indicator of how bitter this fight could be, some conservatives want to retain that definition and add a separate clause stating marriage can also be the union of "two people").

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More than 30 business leaders, including the chief executive officers of Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Telstra Corp., this year petitioned the government to introduce legislation on same-sex marriage.

A private bill, proposed by West Australian Liberal senator Dean Smith, has been labelled the "starting point" by senior government ministers.

Both the Coalition and the opposition Labor Party have promised to give their MPs a conscience vote on the bill. In an interview in October, Turnbull said that the bill could be dealt with before Christmas.

Ireland voted for marriage equality in a referendum in 2015. They didn't vote to license more discrimination and that is what the Paterson bill does'.

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

"If the Australian people do vote yes, they're not going to look kindly on the same group of people who have urged a 'no" vote not accepting the outcome and trying to delay further, ' she said. It already has the support of numerous "no" campaign's biggest advocates.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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