Australia has had its say in the contentious same-sex marriage postal survey and has overwhelmingly supported the notion of marriage equality.
So what happens now?
- Western Australian Senator Dean Smith is expected to introduce his Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017 to Parliament later Wednesday.
- Liberal frontbencher Christopher Pyne has said the bill could be debated in parliament as early as this week.
- Victorian Senator James Paterson has proposed a rival bill that would “preserve” religious freedoms and allow businesses to decline to take part in same-sex weddings.
- Parliament will ultimately decide what form the bill will take.
- Some 22 bills seeking same-sex marriage have been introduced into the federal parliament since 2004. None have been passed.
- Malcolm Turnbull has promised the Coalition will allow MPs a conscience vote on the legislation.
- If the government succeeds in passing marriage equality legislation by December 3, same-sex couples will be able to legally marry before Christmas.
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