Australian leader says gay marriage could be law this year

  • Australian leader says gay marriage could be law this year

Australian leader says gay marriage could be law this year

Campaigners question the legal validity of the postal plebiscite and argue the expenditure of $122 million for the vote is not constitutionally valid because it hasn't been approved by parliament.

Coalition MPs will be able to vote in parliament on a bill to legalise same-sex marriage if a majority "yes" comes from the plebiscite.

But a postal plebiscite, unlike a regular vote in Australia, is non-compulsory, non-binding and open to legal challenge.

Williams noted the postal vote was "vulnerable to legal attack" because the expenditure of money on the postal vote "lacks parliamentary approval".

A chief complaint about the three-month campaign is that gay people and their families will be exposed to hateful slurs, as has already been the case with comments made about the children of same-sex couples.

The Liberal Party held a crisis meeting late Monday to resolve infighting and rejected a push to allow lawmakers to decide the issue now.

A postal plebiscite is the only credible pathway forward to resolve same-sex marriage legislation, according to Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester.

Mr Howard's actions in 2004, where he changed the Marriage Act to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman with Labor's support in Parliament, has been held up by gay marriage campaigners as evidence why Mr Turnbull should just proceed to parliamentary vote instead of an expensive plebiscite. Turnbull said he is confident that the postal option did not need Senate endorsement.

Turnbull's announcement today will undoubtedly please the hardline conservatives in his party, including former PM Tony Abbott, who plans to campaign for a no vote, claiming it's a matter of free speech, religious freedom and a battle against political correctness.

"I'd call on everyone to honour the will of the Australian people as expressed through this plebiscite, so for those of us who are arguing against change, if it goes against us, we should honour it".

In his speech, Mr Shorten said Labor would stand with LGBTI people.

She was one of the lucky ones to be accepted by her family as a gay person and had suffered very little homophobia in the North East community over the years, but was anxious what other youths might face during a campaign against marriage equality.

"But let me say to you, that is what they want you to do".

"I've been to cities that never close down, from NY to Rio and Old London Town, but no matter how far, or how wide I roam, I still call Australia home-ophobic", the 41-year-old sings in the Facebook clip.

The song adds Minchin's own critical voice to the much maligned postal vote plebiscite ordered to determine marriage equality in Australia.