Australians to vote on legalizing same-sex marriage

G+T secures landmark UN Human Rights Committee ruling

Same-sex couples left in 'legal limbo'

The issue of same-sex marriage will be voted on before parliament rises for the year, under a plan endorsed by the coalition joint party room on Tuesday.

Australia's former top statistician says the Bureau of Statistics should not carry out the same-sex marriage postal vote, labelling it a "bad look".

The Courier Mail has reported that marriage equality campaigners are bracing to launch a High Court challenge in the eventuality that a postal vote is undertaken, questioning the legality of this course of action without senate authorisation. Senate lawmakers rejected a bill to hold a plebiscite last November, with opposition lawmakers citing concerns about cost and a run-up campaign filled with bigoted and homophobic rhetoric.

A 2016 Gallup opinion poll estimates that 61 percent of Australians support same-sex marriage.

"This is something that ought not to be put to a plebiscite, this is something that parliamentarians are paid for to decide and our position hasn't changed", he told Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"Marriage equality is about real people, our friends and family, teammates and work colleagues who just want the same dignity as everyone else", Anna Brown, co-chair of the Equality Campaign, said in a statement. "You heard me say again and again that every Australian will have a say on this issue", Turnbull said.

But if the legislation is voted down again (as it was in November previous year, 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.

"We don't have the right to get married, which is quite apparent at this stage, and I find what's going on in this marriage equality debate disappointing", he said.

The Prime Minister said he supported same-sex marriage but respected other views on the issue.

Federal Member for McMillan Russell Broadbent says same-sex marriage could be dealt with by plebiscite or through a conscience vote by Liberal Party MPs.

BALLOT PAPERS to be sent out from September 12 and the result finalised by November 15.

If a majority of voters in either scenario check the "yes" box, parliament would then vote on the measure in December. The government is pretty confident that they have this sorted too - as Finance Minister, Cormann says he has "the power to make the relevant appropriation [of funds] to the ABS".

"I'm a strong leader".

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The Nationals have been staunch supporters of the plebiscite, with MP Andrew Broad warning the coalition could split if the policy was dumped.
They will join talks on the mechanics of a potential postal vote in Canberra on Tuesday".

'A postal vote will be an expensive, non-binding, illegitimate process that will provide a platform for hate and go nowhere, ' said national spokesperson for Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Shelley Argent.

And since the vote is nonbinding, Australia's Parliament is under no obligation to change marriage laws, even if the public supports such a move. The women have since separated, and Ms Campbell was unable to obtain a divorce because the marriage between the two women was not recognised in Australia.

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