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ABS announce win for 'Yes' vote in postal survey on marriage
15 November 2017, 01:23 | Kara Nash
Dean Smith Will Introduce His Same-Sex Marriage Bill Within Hours Of A “Yes” Vote
Billboards, businesses and even cruise liners have been draped in rainbows for the result that was voted by 79.5 per cent of those eligible.
Australians have voted in favour of legalising same-sex marriage by 61.6% to 38.4% in a non-binding survey, the country's Bureau of Statistics has said.
The high response - Ireland's national referendum on marriage equality had a 60.5% turnout - has many believing it points to a win for the "Yes" campaign.
Advocates of same-sex unions criticized parliament for holding the postal vote - saying the nearly two-month campaign saw a surge in calls to mental-health helplines as opponents warned that changing the law could harm children and lead to radical sex education in schools. The ABS has just published the results for the Australian same sex marriage plebiscite.
Almost 80 per cent of eligible Australians took part in the voluntary poll, a return rate that compares more than favourably with the 91 per cent who voted at the compulsory 2016 federal election.
Liberal senator Dean Smith, who has authored a bill which would legislate marriage equality, has asked Parliament to begin the debate on Thursday.
Both the Coalition and the opposition Labor Party have promised to give their MPs a conscience vote on the bill.
"It think it indicates what modern Australia is", he told Sky News.
The Nationals and a powerful right-wing faction of the Liberals - including prominent members of Turnbull's Cabinet - are strongly opposed to equal marriage, while centrists and the youth wing of the Liberals are in favour of reform.
Paterson's bill could override all anti-discrimination laws passed by state and territory level legislatures.
Liberal senators Linda Reynolds and Jane Hume, Labor's Penny Wong and Louise Pratt, the Greens' Richard Di Natale and Janet Rice, Skye Kakoschke-Moore from the Nick Xenophon Team and Derryn Hinch all signed the motion with Smith.
We're less than an hour out from learning the result of the same-sex marriage survey and campaign events are getting under way.
The prime minister has said he'll urge his lawmakers to pass legislation by the end of the year if results due November 15 show a majority support change.
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