A step back for same sex marriage in Australia?

A step back for same sex marriage in Australia?

Voting would be compulsory and failure to vote would be punishable by a fine, though a voluntary vote would be held if the Senate again rejects the measure.

Stefanovic's message comes amid revelations Australians face a likely postal ballot on the issue after the Liberal Party quashed an internal push to drop its commitment to a plebiscite in favour of a conscience vote.

A crisis meeting of Liberal politicians chose to try again to persuade the Senate to endorse the plebiscite before parliament considers voting on legislation.

Both options have been widely-condemned by same-sex marriage advocates, who say a vote is unnecessary and expensive, while a polarizing campaign would be traumatic for Australia's LGBT community.

"The government is committed to keep faith with the promise we made at the last election", Cabinet minister Mathias Cormann told reporters.

But opponents argue that the postal plebiscite would also need senate approval and have threatened a court challenge if it proceeds.

"If it goes ahead, it's going to lack legitimacy", Butler told local broadcaster Sky News on Tuesday.

Speaking before the meeting, Senator Smith said a postal vote was useless.

Liberal senator Dean Smith has revealed he will not introduce a private members bill to legalise same-sex marriage to parliament until the government holds a plebiscite on the issue.

Seventeen-year-olds with a birthday coming up soon can enrol now and be eligible to vote.




Cormann pointed specifically to the Whitlam Government's 1974 phone survey of Australians' views on the national anthem as an example of governments using this power to determine opinions on a policy matter.

That could force the hand of seven Liberal MPs who supported a free vote on the issue during a partyroom debate on Monday.

The Australian Parliament had the opportunity to vote on legalizing same-sex marriage.

"We're not sure we will end up with a postal plebiscite", he said.

The Turnbull government will resubmit its plebiscite plan to parliament this week.

There will be no free vote in parliament if Australians reject same sex marriage in the postal vote.

The government will test its original proposal in the Senate this week, proposing a full plebiscite that would be held on November 25.

"It's very disappointing that the Liberal Party has failed to do the right thing by the Australian people, but there is still a way forward", said Rodney Croome, a long-time advocate for marriage rights for same-sex couples in Australia. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull sets the deadline to decide the reform in parliament on December 7.

PARTICIPATION in the ABS survey (previously known as "postal plebsicite") will be voluntary.

A meeting of politicians in the Liberal party was held on Monday, where it was decided there would instead be a renewed effort to formulate a national vote, followed by a postal vote, if it was unsuccessful.

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