Australians say yes to marriage equality in historic vote

Australians say yes to marriage equality in historic vote

THE moment Australia has been waiting for has finally arrived, with the results of the same-sex marriage survey being released today.

However, even with the "Yes" vote getting up, the survey result is non-binding on the Australian Government to legalise same-sex marriage.

"This is a country which celebrates diversity and part of that would be to allow equal freedoms for all of its citizens".

While the voluntary survey doesn't legally bind parliament, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said he expects lawmakers to respect the outcome.

On Tuesday Turnbull said the government "would not countenance" legalising discrimination against same-sex weddings by commercial service providers and warned a rival conservative bill to do so would have "virtually no prospect" of passing parliament.

This would lead to a parliamentary debate and a vote to determine the legalisation of same-sex marriage.

"I don't agree with the prime minister that this bill makes activities which are now legal, illegal", Canavan told RN Breakfast. "It is about people conscientiously. or using their right, their religious right as a way of determining not to participate in certain activities".

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A young protester cheers in support during a march for marriage equality in Sydney.

Australia has voted "Yes" to same-sex marriage. They have flagged the possibility of amendments, potentially cherry-picked from Liberal senator James Paterson's rival bill, which would give wide-ranging exemptions and wind back existing anti-discrimination laws.

Labor Senator Penny Wong, who has co-signed Senator Smith's bill, said Senator Paterson's proposal was a "distraction".

"I don't think Australians voted for that", she told ABC radio.

However, the vote itself is only indicative - meaning politicians are free to come to whatever conclusions they like, whether that accounts for the vote or not. "It was in fact the opposite".

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

And while the government faces some difficulties after losing its majority in the lower house following the resignations of Barnaby Joyce and John Alexander in the dual citizenship fiasco, the issue has cross-party support and already plans are in place Liberal senator Dean Smith to introduce a private member's bill in favour of same-sex marriage to the Senate this afternoon.

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