March 20, 2018

Australian Senate rejects national marriage vote

10 August 2017, 10:40 | Winifred Adams



Finance Minister Mathias Cormann shortly afterwards said the backup plan - a $122 million voluntary postal ballot run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics - would go ahead.

The Government on Wednesday again failed to pass legislation in the Senate to hold a plebiscite, or public vote, on same-sex marriage in Australia.

Mr Howard's actions in 2004, where he changed the Marriage Act to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman with Labor's support in Parliament, has been held up by gay marriage campaigners as evidence why Mr Turnbull should just proceed to parliamentary vote instead of an expensive plebiscite.

"Sund... that day. If the government wanted gay marriage to be legal on every day, then they should have done this vote over the internet".

"We will not facilitate the introduction of a private members" bill on this matter unless the Australian people have given their support through a "yes' vote through this national vote that we are now undertaking", he said. Results would be made public by November 25.

"The postal vote is rubbish ..."

Guardian Australian understands the case will also question whether the direction to conduct the vote and the appropriation to pay for it are in fact "urgent", when they could be made through an instrument the Senate could disallow.

She concluded the speech by stressing that Labor is opposing the plebiscite motion, and called upon the bill to be voted down by the Upper House as it was in November previous year.

Marriage equality advocate Rodney Croome said a survey of more than 5,000 gay and lesbian Australians two weeks ago found only 15 percent urged a boycott of a plebiscite.

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Lyle Shelton, of the Australian Christian Lobby, invoked both the Irish head of the Qantas airline and Ireland itself in outlining how he sees the same-sex marriage campaign.

He said that Australia now had an "an worldwide obligation to treat same sex couples equally before the law and particularly to give them equal protection of the law" after the UN's ruling.

"You talk about unifying moments?"

"Obviously I will be voting no, but in the end this is not about the politicians, this is about the people, it's about your view", News Corp's reports.

He says no. The prime minister says the issue isn't of major concern to average Australians, who are more focused on economic growth and national security.

Can I vote from overseas?

Deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop says the ballot is an opportunity for Australians to have their say, but refused to outline her personal position. "Because we know the sort of debate that is already there", she said.

"Obviously I will be voting no", Abbott said.

But marriage equality advocates said Canberra might be exceeding its executive authority in holding the paper ballot, with the Public Interest Advocacy Centre Thursday commencing proceedings in the High Court to stop it.

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