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Challenge filed in court to Australian gay marriage ballot

11 August 2017

Tiernan Brady of Australian Marriage Equality, a group that supports marriage rights for same-sex couples in the country, pointed out to the Washington Blade the parliament has rejected the proposed plebiscite twice.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last October introduced a non-binding plebiscite bill - which would have required Australian voters to participate - after his Liberal Party-led coalition narrowly won re-election.

Several Liberal Party lawmakers have expressed exasperation with the handful of colleagues, including former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who have resisted a simple vote in Parliament. They say a national vote is costly and will prove divisive, subjecting gay people and their families to hate speech. "Weak leaders break them", he said.

Australia's first gay High Court judge said he would boycott a planned postal vote on marriage equality.

Marriage equality was based on a broad ideal of equality in an Australia that included everyone, but at present gay and lesbian Australians were excluded. It'll see ballot papers arrive from September 12 and a result declared on November 15.

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"It will be damaging and particularly the young ones who are in a rural communities who are already on the outside, there is going to be damage done during this process", she said.

Simply vote in our poll below before August 18. He's pushing attempts to get a public vote on the matter instead of a parliamentary one.

The opposition Labor Party has repeatedly called for a simple vote in Parliament to approve same-sex marriage, which consecutive polls show most Australians support.

Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek insists the best possible option is a free vote in Parliament this week or next.

Q Who will conduct the ballot?

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However, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has yet to make any arrangements to allow "silent voters" to take part in the marriage survey.

"A lot of the rich conservatives on my mail route have multi-million dollar properties with really long driveways", said one postal worker.

Consultants PwC have put the full cost of a plebiscite at $525 million, made up of $160 million for the ballot itself, $66 million to fund the "yes" and "no" cases, and $281 million in lost productivity.

Expect a LOT of noise over the postal vote in the coming days.

"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", Turnbull said.

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Challenge filed in court to Australian gay marriage ballot