Same-sex marriage bill fails to protect religious freedom, warns Australian archbishop

The death of Tori Johnson at the end of Sydney's Lindt cafe siege in 2014 moved Senator Smith

In September, the government failed in its first attempt to push the same-sex marriage plebiscite bill through the parliament's upper house.

The Courier Mail has reported that marriage equality campaigners are bracing to launch a High Court challenge in the eventuality that a postal vote is undertaken, questioning the legality of this course of action without senate authorisation.

Co-chair Alex Greenwich attended Senator Cormann's press conference, telling reporters afterwards the government's approach to marriage equality had gone "well beyond a joke".

Despite majority support for marriage equality, Australia trails behind many western nations including the United States, Germany, England, Ireland and Canada in retaining a traditional legal definition of marriage.

"It won't be me only, the whole show would blow up", Broad told the Sunraysia Daily newspaper.

After two hours of debate, the party stuck to its existing position of a compulsory national plebiscite, while numerous Liberal MPs reserved the right to ignore the decision even if the majority said yes.

"If that were to fail, the government believes we have a legal and constitutional way forward that gives the Australian people a say on whether or not the definition of marriage should be changed".

His colleague Andrew Laming said those pushing for a free vote didn't need to be told to desist their campaign "because they won't".

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announcing the same-sex marriage moves today. If the Senate rejects the measure, the government would then hold a voluntary postal vote, with the votes due back by mid-November, at a cost of $97 million.




The Senate will likely vote down plebiscite 2.0, as all those opposed to it last time (Labor, the Greens, the three Nick Xenophon Team senators and Derryn Hinch) have promised to knock it back once more.

"Strong leaders carry out their promises".

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten labelled the outcome ridiculous, saying he was disappointed for the hundreds of thousands of Australians the prime minister had let down again.

"The government needs to think very carefully before it expends up to AU$100 million of taxpayer dollars when it could resolve this issue in Parliament as soon as this week", Brown said.

Tasmanian crossbench senator Jacqui Lambie, who voted in favour of the plebscite last November, said she would not support a postal vote.

SENATE to vote this week on legislation to run a compulsory plebiscite on November 25.

Lawmakers have introduced more than 20 bills to amend the country's Marriage Act to allow gays and lesbians to marry.

The 2016 Census indicated there is a total of 47,000 same-sex couples living in Australia - up from 33,000 in 2011 - which means a growing number of people will be affected by the results of the vote.

A politician has explained how the heroism of a gay man who died in a terror attack inspired him to support equal marriage.

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