Australia's parliament could legalise gay marriage if referendum gets go-ahead
Aug 09 2017
There will be no free vote in parliament if Australians reject same sex marriage in the postal vote.
"The solution that the government is proposing is a political compromise created to involve the Australian people in the decision, but in an unprecedented way and in a way that the Constitution doesn't require", Mr. Goss said.
In June 2015, Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester became the first Nationals MP to support same-sex marriage.
"It won't be me only, the whole show would blow up", Broad told the Sunraysia Daily newspaper.
Australian Electoral Commission officials will be seconded to the ABS to help organise the postal ballot, finance minister Mathias Cormann said.
Despite what seems to be a huge step forward in the same-sex marriage debate, the opposition Labor Party has slammed the move, declaring that the government was too weak to allow a free vote in Parliament.
Finding policy agreement on the issue is a test of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's authority over his fragile government, which holds a single-seat majority in the House of Representatives.
But if the legislation is voted down again (as it was in November a year ago, and as is likely again in any new vote), the government will push for a postal plebiscite, with mail forms to arrive in letterboxes from mid-September.
The ballots for a postal vote will be sent out on September 12 with the aim of having them returned and counted by November 15.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said Labor would not support the plebiscite.
Tasmanian crossbench senator Jacqui Lambie, who voted in favour of the plebscite last November, said she would not support a postal vote.
"I'm a strong leader".
The conservative Liberal Party-led coalition was narrowly re-elected in July 2016 with a promise to let people decide whether Australia should recognise same-sex marriage through a popular vote.
The non-binding and non-compulsory postal ballot will ask voters: "Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to be married?"
Both options have been widely-condemned by same-sex marriage advocates, who say a vote is unnecessary and expensive, while a polarizing campaign would be traumatic for Australia's LGBT community.
The latest attempt to resurrect the debate around same-sex marriage was triggered after a group of rebel politicians inside the government began a push to ditch the plebiscite as official government policy.
"This is more about the fear and naivety of non-gay people than anything to do with the problem of gay marriage".
"There are two mandates, and our mandate is to have this determined by the parliament", he said.