Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Postal vote on gay marriage triggers furore

Postal vote on gay marriage triggers furore

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull today announced the postal ballot would be entrusted to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, with assistance from Australian Electoral Commission officers. The Liberal-National Coalition attempted to legalize same-sex marriage previous year, but the proposal was narrowly defeated.

"Why are we stopping people from loving each other?" asked prominent TV host Karl Stefanovic on the Nine network.

Voting in the plebiscite will be voluntary - unlike in elections in Australia, which are compulsory - and happen through the post.

The government had hoped that the threat of the inferior alternative of the postal plebiscite would make the Senate reconsider its decision last November to block the plebiscite.

Lyle Shelton, of the Australian Christian Lobby, invoked both the Irish head of the Qantas airline and Ireland itself in outlining how he sees the same-sex marriage campaign.

The legal challenge will be heard in the court on September 5 and 6, Chief Justice Susan Kiefel told a directions hearing in Sydney this afternoon. "That makes it particularly hard to our side because we don't have Qantas and Alan Joyce and corporate Australia behind us", he said.

The non-binding vote would then determine whether parliament then votes on the issue.

The former political figurehead's comments come as the country opens a new plebiscite (a public vote) on the introduction of same-sex marriage.

Wong said an open debate on same sex marriage was "exposing" the children of LGBTQI couples to "that kind of hatred".

The NewsMail wants to know what Bundaberg thinks on this topical issue.

Government minister Mathias Cormann said he was confident the debate would be conducted courteously.

Two separate legal challenges to the postal survey have been filed, supported by same-sex marriage advocates who say the postal survey is unnecessary and inappropriate.

A postal plebiscite is the only credible pathway forward to resolve same-sex marriage legislation, according to Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester.

A mail-in ballot would cost taxpayers about $96 million in Australian currency. Ms. Gerber said she believed it showed how "out of step" the government was with the wishes of the Australian people, "because the public overwhelmingly in opinion polls support marriage equality". "The questions of how the government exercises power and what is the role of Parliament is important for our democracy".

The ballot papers will be sent out on September 12th and you will be able to vote from that day until November 7th.

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