Australia to vote on same-sex marriage

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A mail-in ballot would cost taxpayers about $96 million in Australian currency.

The Australian Marriage Equality organisation made it clear it still wants to see a free vote in parliament.

Marriage equality campaigners have pledged to challenge a postal plebiscite in the High Court. Labor and Greens party members are all expected to vote "yes", and there are at least five Liberal MPs - the ones who drafted the bill - who will vote "yes" too.

Voting in elections is compulsory in Australia and would also be so in any plebiscite. "I think most people would be fine in legalisation of gay marriage", Dr Alexander said.

The traditional plebiscite would cost up to $170 million. I can't imagine watching it and coming away still supporting a postal plebiscite, though the government is doing just that.

Penny Wong addresses the same sex marriage plebiscite planned for November. The prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has previously rejected the method.

However if there is a "no" vote, no further action will be taken.

Supporters say it would give ordinary people a voice in a debate dominated by activists.

Aside from the legal threat, the Turnbull Government is facing pressure from the Australian Christian Lobby.

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At a press conference in Canberra, Croome explained that the case would argue the government may be exceeding executive authority and that a postal vote on marriage equality is not "statistic gathering" of the sort the ABS is authorised to undertake.

But the vote itself can not legalise same-sex marriage.

Labor Senator Sam Dastyari shares a cheeky kiss with Justice Party Senator Derryn Hinch after cutting a Marriage Equality Cake at the Senate doors this morning. When Turnbull seized the leadership two years ago, he needed to keep conservatives on-side so retained Abbott's policy on same-sex marriage.

If you have not registered before then you will not be able to vote in September when the postal votes are sent out.

The country's leading party voted down proposals for MPs to vote on the issue, despite the fact it would have been free.

Recent polls show a majority of people favor changing Australia's Marriage Act to legalize same-sex unions.

"Strong leaders carry out their promises; weak leaders break them", Turnbull told reporters.

Senator Cormann reiterated the government's belief, based on legal advice, that the postal option was legal and constitutional. That was allowing Australian voters to make the final decision through a mandatory public vote, known as a plebiscite.

Asked by ABC 7.30 host Leigh Sales if gay marriage would be legalised by Christmas, Senator Brandis said, 'Yes, I do'. In voting down the plebiscite bill, Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek wondered why the government was content in spending so much money on a non-binding vote, which would still go to Parliament even if the people vote "yes".

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