Australians Back Legalizing Gay Marriage in Nationwide Vote

Australians Back Legalizing Gay Marriage in Nationwide Vote

Australians Back Legalizing Gay Marriage in Nationwide Vote

Members of parliament will then be free to vote on the bill, which was developed by West Australian Liberal senator Dean Smith.

The competing bills are causing a schism within the coalition, with Treasurer Scott Morrison, who opposes same-sex marriage, saying in a radio interview on Wednesday that Smith's legislation doesn't contain sufficient protections for religious freedoms.

The debate on the Smith bill is expected to start on Thursday and carry through to the next parliamentary sitting week, beginning in late November.

The bill would also guarantee the right of parents to opt their children out of school classes that conflicted with their values.

It also includes exemptions so religious organisations can refuse to conduct same-sex marriages.

"I've never believed that allowing same-sex couples to marry needs to come at the expense of the freedoms of other Australians". In his opinion piece Senator Paterson said printing companies, broadcasters and venues would be able to turn down business from either side of the debate.

The result, announced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday, will lead to consideration of a same-sex marriage bill in parliament with the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, promising marriage equality should be law by Christmas.

"Together we have achieved something truly remarkable, a win for fairness and equality, not only for the LGBTI community and our families, but for all Australians", he said.

The government pledged to put a proposal to parliament if voters were in favour of same-sex marriage. The "yes" result of the $122 million survey now empowers Turnbull to push a marriage-equality law through parliament, perhaps by year's end.

Liberal Democrats senator David Leyonhjelm is planning a number of amendments.

"There's been a long road and there's still further fights down the track", Senator Wong told reporters in Canberra.

Labor senator Sam Dastyari said Senator Paterson was being taken for a ride.

"The simple message now is: pass the law", said Tiernan Brady, leader of the Marriage Equality campaign.

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