Marriage equality: Australia votes 'Yes' in postal survey

The marriage debate is about nothing more or less than whether fellow human beings can be allowed equality says Bill Hoffman

The marriage debate is about nothing more or less than whether fellow human beings can be allowed equality says Bill Hoffman

Labor's Senate leader Penny Wong has described a possible "yes" vote in the same-sex marriage postal survey as bigger than just a result for the LGBTQ community - rather she said it would say a lot about Australia.

Yes voters have their fingers crossed the polls are accurate and not some Brexit or Trump-style aberration.

The results of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey were announced on Wednesday morning by the head of the Australian Bureau of Statistics David Kalisch, ending a divisive four-month campaign.

The high response - Ireland's national referendum on marriage equality had a 60.5% turnout - has many believing it points to a win for the "Yes" campaign.

Twelve million voted in the poll with 61 per cent voting yes to same-sex marriage.

Same-sex marriage is legal in England, Wales and Scotland.

Prominent conservative lawmakers urged people to vote against "political correctness", and argued that marriage equality could undermine family values and see radical sexuality and gender programmes rolled out in schools.

Navya Arma involved in fender bender at Las Vegas debut
Navya's autonomous electric vehicle shuttle doesn't hit overly high speeds, shuffling along a downtown circuit at around 24km/h. The shuttle's sensors registered the truck and performed the correct actions, the rep said, by stopping to avoid the accident.

Liberal senator Dean Smith has written the bill that has been largely supported across both sides of the house by senators on the yes side.

It will be supported by Labor and the Greens even though the minor party plans to present amendments.

A second private bill, containing more protections for religious protections and conscientious objection, is being pushed by conservative coalition MPs, many of whom campaigned for a "no" vote.

If it is a yes from the public, then PM Malcolm Turnbull has said a private member's bill will be debated in Parliament, with the PM pushing for a vote before Christmas. But there's still a key question: if the country does the right thing and votes Yes, when will we actually get marriage equality?

Paterson's bill could override all anti-discrimination laws passed by state and territory level legislatures.

The prime minister has said he'll urge his lawmakers to pass legislation by the end of the year if results due November 15 show a majority support change.

The postal survey saw 16 million registered voters among Australia's population of 24 million asked for their views on overturning the prohibition.

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