The Senate Could Begin Debating Marriage Equality As Soon As Tomorrow

The Senate could begin debating changes to the Marriage Act as early as this week if the'Yes vote comes out on top

The Senate could begin debating changes to the Marriage Act as early as this week if the'Yes vote comes out on top

Almost 80 per cent of eligible Australians took part in the voluntary poll, a return rate that compares more than favorably with the 91 per cent who voted at the compulsory 2016 federal election.

The vote showed 61.6% of people favoured allowing same-sex couples to Wednesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said.

"A Yes result would be a massive win for people power - millions of us sent back a Yes vote not just for marriage equality but also for fairness and love", she said.

Australia has voted "Yes" to same-sex marriage.

The result, announced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday, will lead to consideration of a same-sex marriage bill in parliament with the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, promising marriage equality should be law by Christmas.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has pledged not to allow a discriminatory bill to get through that would have allowed "religious freedom" exceptions.

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Liberal Senator Dean Smith has said he will introduce a bill to parliament this week to legalize same-sex marriage.

A second private bill, containing more protections for religious protections and conscientious objection, is being pushed by conservative coalition MPs, many of whom campaigned for a "no" vote.

Australia has said yes to same-sex marriage.

An estimated 13 million Australians have returned their postal surveys in the nationwide ballot - a bigger percentage than voted in the UK's Brexit referendum.

"It think it indicates what modern Australia is", he told Sky News.

"I don't agree with the Prime Minister that this (James Paterson) bill makes activities which are now illegal legal", Nationals Senator Matt Canavan told ABC radio.

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We failed at something which also means something on a social level. "We have pride, strength and we're stubborn". A clearly emotional Buffon said: "I'm not sorry for myself but all of Italian football".

After months of fierce debate on both sides, supporters of marriage equality are expected to emerge victorious.

Labor leader Bill Shorten has offered his support to the Smith bill and rubbished the Paterson bill, which possibly gives the Smith bill a better chance of succeeding.

However, the vote itself is only indicative - meaning politicians are free to come to whatever conclusions they like, whether that accounts for the vote or not.

Greenwich said the campaign had made more than 1m phone calls and knocked 100,000 doors, an "unprecedented" level of support that had exceeded "any campaign in our history".

Paterson's bill could override all anti-discrimination laws passed by state and territory level legislatures.

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