Australian Senate rejects same-sex marriage plebiscite bill

Labor's Penny Wong gave an emotional speech against the gay marriage plebiscite

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last October introduced a non-binding plebiscite bill - which would have required Australian voters to participate - after his Liberal Party-led coalition narrowly won re-election.

We have no inside information on Christmas moods at the home of these Australian siblings and party colleagues but we can't imagine the conversation over the prawns and mango stays festive and airy when the topic of same-sex marriage comes up.

It was killed off for a second time by the Senate this morning.

Labor, the Greens and the Nick Xenophon Team on Wednesday had the numbers to tie a vote at 31-all, meaning the move was defeated.

Why was the plebiscite unpopular?

Virginia Edwards campaigning with partner and liberal candidate Christine Forster at Bourke St Public School today during the local Government election.

"Leadership is not seen as overwhelmingly strong in Australia at the moment, is this a crisis of confidence in your leadership and Bill Shorten?"

'It's making me really nervous that I won't get a say on something that directly affects my family as well, ' she said.

It was also going to be ridiculously expensive and could've cost the Australian economy more than half a billion dollars.

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It seems unlikely that legislation supporting a national plebiscite (or same-sex marriage) will pass the Senate this week. The responses would be due by 7 November, and the result would be released on 25 November.

The "Aussies in the UK" Facebook page has more than 5000 members and is typically full of questions about where to live and find good coffee, but the topic of conversation has turned to the logistics of postal voting.

On Monday the government held a meeting to decide its position on the the issue once and for all.

The former High court judge Michael Kirby, a staunch supporter of gay marriage, announced to the media group, Australian broadcasting corporation that he boycotterait postal voting, referred to as "an irregular and non-scientific".

Oh, and did we mention it'll cost the taxpayer $122million? Which now can't happen. Responses would be voluntary and therefore less indicative of public opinion.

"I give you this promise".

'I am planning on doing everything in my power to get my say in this plebiscite, ' Lucinda Bayly told AAP. You promised no cuts to the ABC and you took $44 million from us. Then there was Tony Abbott's signature policy on paid parental leave which has also been abandoned.

I've voiced my opinion enough - when and if a postal vote goes ahead, my vote will be yes.

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