Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Turnbull cops a battering over same-sex marriage

Turnbull cops a battering over same-sex marriage

Writing in The Australian, Senator Paterson said he'd developed his marriage bill to ensure there were sufficiently robust protects for freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of conscience.

Some conservative MPs are pushing for the the bill to include exemptions that would allow businesses opposed to same-sex marriage to refuse goods and services for weddings.

Marriage equality campaigners seized on the result of the postal vote, and said Australia should quickly become the 25th nation to legalize same-sex unions. That would involve overriding existing discrimination laws and creating special dispensation for people who held the "relevant belief" that homosexual relationships are unholy or immoral.

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That would give the Senate time to debate the bill before it goes to the House of Representatives. A competing bill, likely to divide the governing coalition along ideological lines, would provide much more sweeping protections under anti-discrimination laws to people and businesses who refuse to serve same-sex couples.

"[Australians] have spoken in their millions and they have voted overwhelmingly yes for marriage equality", he said after the result was announced.

Barring any unforeseen mishap, the survey results will be published on by the ABS on 15 November 2017. The "yes" result of the $122 million survey now empowers Turnbull to push a marriage-equality law through parliament, perhaps by year's end.

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Liberal Democrats senator David Leyonhjelm is in the process of drafting amendments to the Smith, many of which align with provisions in the Paterson bill.

As the "Yes" vote has gotten a majority, PM Malcolm Turnbull's Coalition Government has pledged to facilitate the introduction of a private member's bill into Parliament to legalise same-sex marriage.

"I think we're all on the same path. This year, before Christmas - that must be our commitment", Turnbull told reporters in Canberra.

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Labor senator Sam Dastyari said Senator Paterson was being taken for a ride. "From what we've seen so far this is just another attempt to delay passing marriage equality", he said.

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