Turnbull cops a battering over same-sex marriage

Cheryl Sanders
November 15, 2017

Nevertheless, discussions are well under underway as to how same-sex marriage might be legislated.

Senator Smith's bill allows same-sex couples to Wednesday and includes exemptions so religious organisations can refuse to conduct same-sex marriages.

A majority "yes" vote was recorded in 133 of the 150 federal electorates across the country, as well as each state and territory.

Two bills will be proposed to parliament - one by Senator Dean Smith proposing simply to introduce the other measure, and another by Senator James Paterson proposing same-sex marriage, but with various "religious freedoms".

His bill went further than a version proposed by Senator Smith, which is backed by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

There is also a deadline for the bill's passage by 30 November.

Brandis said today's postal vote results are an "outsanding outcome".

If the vote is "no", the motion will be dismissed and Smith will table his bill.

The prime minister said Dean Smith's bill could "serve the goal as being the first draft", while Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said it was "a good starting point" in need of changes to boost religious protections.

It will be supported by Labor and the Greens even though the minor party plans to present amendments.

"I believe the parliament should do so before Christmas, with additional sitting weeks if necessary".

"The consensus position was the position that the Greens would support", he said, saying senators should "think very very carefully about entrenching discrimination to support your colleagues rather than this bill".

"This is an important day in Australian history, it is an important day in the history of human rights in Australia, it is an important day on which we acknowledge and, finally - finally - strike down this barrier of discrimination on the grounds of sexuality".

A handful of hardline anti-LGBT MPs within the governing Liberal-National Coalition have also said they will not be conceding, despite the clear will of Australians to pass marriage equality.

In contrast, Education Minister Simon Birmingham, who is also in favour of same-sex marriage, said the Smith Bill had been scrutinised by a committee and based on an exposure draft produced by the Attorney-General.

The Labor caucus resolved in October the Smith bill struck an "acceptable compromise" between marriage equality and religious freedoms. "They have voted for love, they have voted for fairness, they have voted for commitment, they have voted for respect", he said.

"It's clearly a good bill to start with", he said.

Mr Shorten said the only delay would be from conservatives who say that marriage equality offends religious freedom.

Other reports by iNewsToday