Liberal senator to delay gay marriage bill

The ABS would need two more things to get a plebiscite together: funds, and the electoral roll (y'know, so as to send the survey to everyone eligible to vote).

There will be no free vote in parliament if Australians reject same sex marriage in the postal vote.

"This decision goes another step closer towards recognising marriage equality as an worldwide human rights issue".

Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe has condemned Australia's lack of same-sex marriage.

The government confirmed on Tuesday that the Australian Bureau of Statistics - you may remember them from such successful ventures as the #CensusFail - will be in charge of the votes.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann stated that the government is trying to introduce the legislation again but this time with a contingency plan that will match any rejection from the upper house where the government does not have a majority.

In July, a government senator said he was drafting a private member's bill aimed at legalizing same-sex marriage, but Turnbull said he would not allow the bill to be voted on.

Turnbull's reasoning for the plebiscite and postal vote is that it will allow "all Australians to have their say".

While Coalition members always have the right to cross the floor and vote against a government bill, the suspension of standing orders by government backbenchers to consider a bill that is opposed to government policy is unusual, to say the least, if not unprecedented.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he expected the public would support marriage equality in the so-called plebiscite, and that he would personally campaign for a "yes" vote.

A previous plebiscite Bill was rejected last November by the Senate, where Labor, the Greens and some other minor party MPs prefer an immediate free vote.

The leader of the Labor opposition party, Mr Bill Shorten, who supports same-sex marriage, said that holding a plebiscite was "ridiculous".

Turnbull is insistent that he will let the voters have a say, "Strong leaders carry out their promises, weak leaders break them".

If the Senate again blocks the plebiscite, the government intends to hold a voluntary postal plebiscite by November 15.

If the plebiscite bill is unexpectedly passed, a $170 million compulsory vote would be held on November 25.

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.

We'll see what he has to say about that when the Australian people vote him out.

The 2016 Census indicated there is a total of 47,000 same-sex couples living in Australia - up from 33,000 in 2011 - which means a growing number of people will be affected by the results of the vote.

Despite strong support for gay marriage, the country is seen by some as lagging behind nations that allow homosexual couples the right to Wednesday.

  • Rogelio Becker