Australians Will Vote on Gay Marriage
The Australian Government will ask its citizens to vote on same-sex marriage.
The postal vote will be voluntary with ballots expected to be sent out early September.
Public opinion for same-sex marriage is at its highest.
A recent poll suggested that 67% of Australian women and 59% of men would vote yes to making it legal.
So the vote is good news then?
Critics are calling it a £74 million opinion poll.
Because the public vote won’t be binding. It’s the politicians who’ll have the final say, and they’ll have a free vote. So this is an expensive and frustrating way to test the national mood.
LGBT campaigners have long argued that the issue should be put to Parliament directly.
And this isn’t the first time that the Government has proposed a vote. In November 2016, the Senate moved against holding a plebiscite on same-sex marriage.
This latest voluntary postal vote is effectively Plan B.
Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has been unwilling to confront the conservative elements of a Government he inherited from his predecessor. A number in his party are expected to vote against any new marriage legislation. It is little comfort then that Turnbull has been quoted by CNN as saying:
"I'll be voting yes, as will (my wife), I'm very open about that but the Australian people are never wrong when they vote, whether it's for governments or on matters like this, their vote will be respected,"
Given that his own politicians could derail the entire thing, it's hardly comforting.
But let’s be positive.
It might be a frustrating and expensive route but IF the public vote yes and IF the politicians vote yes then same-sex marriage could be legal in Australia by the end of 2017.
And wouldn’t that be something?
If you’re eligible to vote, then please make sure you’re registered by August 24th. You can that by clicking here.