Australians might get to vote on marriage equality in November

A group of Liberals MPs have circulated a private members' bill on same-sex marriage

"We urge Liberals who support marriage equality to table marriage equality legislation and cross the floor to vote for it".

Members of Australia's governing coalition on August 7, 2017, blocked efforts to allow a conscience vote in the country's parliament on whether to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples.

"Advice we received from [Ron Merkel QC] last week indicated the government can not act without specific legislation and a specific budgetary appropriation", said just.equal spokesperson Rodney Croome in a statement.

Sydney's Catholic Archbishop Anthony Fisher and his Anglican counterpart, Archbishop Glenn Davies, have criticised a proposed Bill to permit same-sex marriage in Australia as failing to protect religious freedom.

Mr Turnbull argued his promise was to give the public a say.

The government confirmed on Tuesday that the Australian Bureau of Statistics - you may remember them from such successful ventures as the #CensusFail - will be in charge of the votes.

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.

Queensland Liberal MP Warren Entsch, who was among those pushing for a free vote, said the commitment to bring back the plebiscite this week was fantastic.


Fairfax's Peter Martin writes: "At a cost of $122 million, the postal plebiscite would become the second-biggest project [the ABS has] ever undertaken, after the $350 million census".

The ballots for a postal vote will be sent out on September 12 with the aim of having them returned and counted by November 15. He added, "I'm a strong leader".

This is looking likely with the Greens, Labor and the Nick Xenophon Team all indicating they will once again knock back the bill, which Opposition leader Bill Shorten labelled a delaying tactic on Tuesday morning.

In the leadup to the last federal election in July 2016, almost one million Australians weren't enrolled to vote, including 380,000 of them in the 18-25 age bracket - nearly 18 percent of all people in that age group, compared to around six percent of the general population.

"I've said for many years that I want marriage equality in Australia, and I've campaigned for it", Mr. Pyne said on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation program "Q&A". Senate lawmakers rejected a bill to hold a plebiscite last November, with opposition lawmakers citing concerns about cost and a run-up campaign filled with bigoted and homophobic rhetoric.

'The rights of gays and lesbians in our country have to be achieved through more hurdles than the rights of other people, ' he said.

The non-binding and non-compulsory postal ballot will ask voters: "Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to be married?"

"There are two mandates, and our mandate is to have this determined by the parliament", he said.

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