ABS announce win for 'Yes' vote in postal survey on marriage

ABS announce win for 'Yes' vote in postal survey on marriage

Almost 80 per cent of eligible Australians took part in the voluntary poll, a return rate that compares more than favourably with the 91 per cent who voted at the compulsory 2016 federal election.

Australians have voted in favour of allowing same-sex couples to marry in a landmark national survey.

With a turnout of 79.5%the result in the voluntary survey is considered a highly credible reflection of Australian opinion and gives marriage equality advocates enormous momentum to achieve the historic social reform.

Same-sex marriage will now nearly certainly be legalised in Australia through a change to the Marriage Act.

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

A private member's bill will be debated in Parliament, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull pushing for a vote before Christmas.

Nevertheless, discussions are well under underway as to how same-sex marriage might be legislated. But he may have to compete with another bill from conservative Liberal Senator James Paterson that contains provisions such as allowing "conscientious objections" for people who don't wish to cater for gay weddings due to their religious beliefs.

"It think it indicates what modern Australia is", he told Sky News.




"It is a process that we have to conclude by Christmas if we're going to keep faith with the Australian people", Mr Zimmerman said.

"Senator Canavan has been part of a group inside the Liberal Party who have fought tooth and nail not to bring this into the parliament", she told ABC radio.

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

The government's own National Mental Health Commission issued warnings about the surveys effects which were not acknowledged publicly.

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.

A handful of MPs have vowed to ignore the public's will and vote against the bill anyway, but they are few and far between.

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.

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