Cyprus Mail
Oceania

Australia kicks off weeks-long same-sex marriage ballot

Australian artist Scott Marsh completes a mural artwork featuring the likeness of former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott marrying himself in a wedding dress in the Sydney suburb of Redfern

Australia on Tuesday launched a postal vote on whether to legalise same-sex marriage as a widely watched poll indicated the country would be overwhelmingly in support.

The non-compulsory ballot, which runs until the end of October, will determine whether Australia becomes the 25th country to legalise same-sex marriage, while also healing a rift in the government.

Despite securing 70 per cent public support in an Ipsos/Fairfax poll on Tuesday, the issue of same-sex marriage had faced a political deadlock, only broken last week when the High Court gave the all-clear for the vote.

The poll illustrates why parliament should simply vote to approve same-sex marriage without holding the national ballot, opposition Labor leader Bill Shorten said.

“Change in this country only ever happens when people participate in the change,” Shorten told reporters in Canberra. “Please don’t leave this change to other people.”

The ballot of nearly 16 million people at a cost A$122 million ($97.86 million) will help Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull unite his Liberal-National coalition, which had been fractured over the issue throughout his two-year tenure.

Turnbull had been under pressure to resolve the impasse after two previous efforts to hold a compulsory vote were rejected by the Senate, where the government is in the minority.

Frustrated progressive members said they would side with the opposition Labor Party to secure same-sex marriage if the PM could not finally resolve the issue, though some conservative lawmakers threatened to resign if Turnbull did not stick to a public vote, threatening the PM’s one-seat majority.

The impasse was eventually resolved when the High Court ruled the government could proceed with the non-compulsory vote, without Senate approval.



Related posts

Australian special forces allegedly killed 39 unarmed Afghans in cold blood

Reuters News Service

New Zealand approves euthanasia, set to reject recreational marijuana

Reuters News Service

Melbourne opens up dining after 120 day lockdown, China reports highest daily toll in 2 months

Reuters News Service

Man critical after shark attack at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

Reuters News Service

PM Ardern on track for landslide re-election win in New Zealand vote

Reuters News Service

Australia says majority of 470-strong beached whale pod has died

Reuters News Service

9 comments

Comments are closed.