Liberal senator to delay gay marriage bill

Liberal senator to delay gay marriage bill

Liberal senator to delay gay marriage bill

There was speculation last night the Government may try to reduce the amount a postal plebiscite would cost by cutting the $15 million in taxpayer funds for the "yes" and "no" campaigns.

Late a year ago, the upper house Senate rejected a government proposal on the matter, with opponents saying they believed it was best dealt with by a free vote in parliament.

"The legal advice we have is that such a step, conducting a plebiscite, would be invalid", Anna Brown, director of legal advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre told reporters in Canberra.

If the plebiscite bill goes down in the Senate - likely to happen this week - the government will hand over responsibility to the ABS and the supporting AEC officers to make announcements about timetables, logistics, and by what date people need to enrol. Voting would be compulsory and failure to vote would be punishable by a fine, though a voluntary vote would be held if the Senate again rejects the measure. "It's a deeply compromised position from a deeply compromised prime minister". Senate crossbenchers have pledged to oppose the plebiscite. "If they then put up a plebiscite, a postal plebiscite, they will see the warts and the prickles attached to that". Bernardi has said he would vote against gay marriage regardless of what the plebiscite found. Efforts to adopt marriage equality in some jurisdictions, such as a 2013 effort in the Australian Capital Territory, have been short-lived and unsuccessful.

Malcolm Turnbull intends to tip $122 million into a voluntary postal vote on same-sex marriage run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics if a fresh plebiscite push fails.

Cabinet minister Mathias Cormann told reporters after the meeting the government's preference was for a compulsory plebiscite, but if they can not get it through the Senate a voluntary postal vote would be held.

Even in that case, you're probably still best to take this opportunity and handy reminder to update your details or to enrol anyway - with the state of our federal political system, who bloody knows when we might have another snap election?

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The seven lawmakers who spoke against the plebiscite at the meeting were outnumbered more than three-to-one by 27 colleagues who supported the 2-year-old policy.

Finance minister Mathias Cormann, the government's deputy senate leader and an opponent of same-sex marriage, said on Tuesday that some type of plebiscite was essential if parliament was to decide the marriage equality question.

Advocates were giving no sign of that on Monday night.

The land down under is trying to find a way to tackle same-sex marriage.

"I'm profoundly disappointed that we weren't able to do it now because I think the issue will continue to drag on", he said.

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has warned against the postal vote.

"This decision goes another step closer towards recognising marriage equality as an global human rights issue".

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