Australia may hold postal vote on same-sex marriage

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Canberra, Aug 8 (IANS) Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced on Tuesday that if his proposal to hold a plebiscite to decide on legalising same-sex marriage is rejected again by the Senate, he will put it to a non-binding postal vote.

Turnbull’s promise of a plebiscite to decide on same-sex marriages in 2016 was blocked by the Senate, where the conservative ruling coalition is in a minority, reports Efe news.

“We will be presenting it (the plebiscite) to the Senate again this week, but if that bill is rejected by the Senate again, then we will hold a postal vote,” Turnbull said at a press conference here.

The Prime Minister added if the proposal was approved by the Senate, the government will facilitate a private member’s bill and the plebiscite will be held on November 25.

However, if it is rejected, the government will send out the ballots for a voluntary postal vote on September 12, with a submission deadline of November 7.

If the vote in either of the two supports legalising same-sex marriages, the country’s marriage law will have to be amended before December 7, when the last two-week Parliament session will end.

A latest survey shows that 72 per cent of Australians are in favour of same-sex marriages, although conservative Christian groups oppose this.

–IANS

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