Postal vote on marriage debate likely

Same-sex marriage could be legal in Australia by Christmas after the Turnbull government committed to holding a people’s vote by November.

The government will ask the Senate to approve a compulsory plebiscite on November 25, but in the likely event that is rejected, it will hold a postal vote with a November deadline.

The postal vote would be voluntary, and conducted over a number of weeks between September and November, possibly for two entire months.

If Australians return a majority “Yes” vote, the government will facilitate debate on a bill to legalise same-sex marriage, but MPs will not be bound to respect the will of the people.

If the majority of Australians vote “No”, the government will refuse to enable a vote in Parliament.

Federal Member for Forrest Nola Marino said in 2015 that many people across Australia and in the South West have deeply held beliefs about marriage, especially its role in supporting families and the community.

Mrs Marino told the Mail on Tuesday the government was re-elected last year after they took their policy of giving Australians a say on the issue via plebiscite to the election.

“The Turnbull government keeps its election promises and respects the view of Australians – the senate should now do the same,” Mrs Marino said.

“The only people standing in the way of Australians having their say is Bill Shorten and the Labor Party.

“We trust Australians to have their say, Bill Shorten and the crossbench should do the same.”

Source: Bunbury Mail.