Australians to vote on same-sex marriage

Religious exemptions included in Australian marriage equality law

The ballot papers themselves will be posted to any enrolled Australians in September, with voters told to get the papers back at a yet-to-be-revealed date in November.

If the government is able to secure support in the senate for the full plebiscite, which is unlikely given it was already blocked once in November, it would be held on November 25.

Trent Zimmerman is encouraging Australians to have their say in the planned postal plebiscite, despite it not being his first option to settle the long-running debate. "But I tell you, have a read of some of the things which are said about us and our families and then come back here and tell us this is a unifying moment", said Penny Wong, an opposition Labor senator.

Deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop says the ballot is an opportunity for Australians to have their say, but refused to outline her personal position.

The government has been roundly criticised for its determination to push forth with the postal plebiscite, which was decided in a lengthy party room meeting on Monday.

In campaigns, leading members of the Liberal Party had pledged to gauge public opinion before a vote occurred, even though existing polls show a major of Australians are in favor of same-sex marriage.

She concluded the speech by stressing that Labor is opposing the plebiscite motion, and called upon the bill to be voted down by the Upper House as it was in November a year ago.

The material must be used for "parliamentary or electorate purposes", which, as Cormann confirmed, would include a national vote on same-sex marriage.

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The vote - in the form of a national postal ballot to be conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics - will begin next month and is expected to be completed in time for a vote in parliament to legalise same-sex marriage in the next few months.

"Love is love", Ms Mead said, who pointed to more important issues the government could be prioritising.

The legalisation of same-sex marriage is inevitable.

"Is the Prime Minister aware that the 122 million Australian dollars he is wasting on his voluntary, non-binding postal plebiscite could instead fund over 1,800 aged care places or support over 2.7 million bulk-billed (doctor visits)?"

"We will be arguing that by going ahead without the authorisation of parliament, the government is acting beyond its power", said the advocacy group's chief Jonathon Hunyor.

No. Unlike the original proposal - in-person plebiscite - the postal vote is not mandatory.

The ABS, who famously bungled the Census past year, will work with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) and Australia Post to get the job done.

But Barnaby Joyce said he was not concerned: "I think young people are just as competent as any other person". "But in the end, this is not about the politicians, this is about the people, it's about your view".

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