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Australia kicks off weeks-long same-sex marriage ballot

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Australia kicks off weeks-long same-sex marriage ballot

By Colin Packham

 

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People participate in a march for marriage equality of same-sex couples in Sydney, Australia, September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Steven Saphore

 

SYDNEY (Reuters) - 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 percent 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 (74.3 million pounds) 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.

 

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Nick Macfie)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2017-09-12

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Ignorance ⇒ Incomprehension ⇒ Fear ⇒ Outrage ⇒ HeadinSand ⇒ Ignorance ⇒ ...

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I won't be voting but seems the Progressive polls were indicating about 60% opposed, guess that's why the gay groups tried to stop the ballot. Both so-called political leaders are supporting it, plus every TV and print media and they are introducing penalties (well, for the no camp only) if commercials are deemed undesirable, so as far as I can see,  would expect a yes. Either that or Progressives have a habit of ignoring results that don't go their way, as such they will probably approve it anyway.

 

My brother's gay and would dearly love to have a permanent partner, although the marriage thing neither here nor there to him, problem he says is that it is very hard to get a trustworthy permanent partner in the gay world with the popularity of apps such as Grinder etc.

 

Anyway perhaps the gay community will discover the legal joys of marriage, things often don't go the way you expect, then all the custody and who pays issues get massaged up by the esteemed legal community. :smile:

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8 hours ago, Rancid said:

I won't be voting but seems the Progressive polls were indicating about 60% opposed, guess that's why the gay groups tried to stop the ballot. Both so-called political leaders are supporting it, plus every TV and print media and they are introducing penalties (well, for the no camp only) if commercials are deemed undesirable, so as far as I can see,  would expect a yes. Either that or Progressives have a habit of ignoring results that don't go their way, as such they will probably approve it anyway.

 

My brother's gay and would dearly love to have a permanent partner, although the marriage thing neither here nor there to him, problem he says is that it is very hard to get a trustworthy permanent partner in the gay world with the popularity of apps such as Grinder etc.

 

Anyway perhaps the gay community will discover the legal joys of marriage, things often don't go the way you expect, then all the custody and who pays issues get massaged up by the esteemed legal community. :smile:

You're Australian with a gay brother and not voting to support your close family member in seeking civil rights equality? Curious.  Does your brother know, or is it a practical matter of not getting the letter in Thailand or someting?

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I'm shy about predicting election results after you know what, but it seems to me that the marriage equality mail in vote thing has a good chance of failing. Why? Well of course unlike actual Australian elections, it is not mandatory, and the main people motivated to vote will be the effected people themselves (a small minority) and those motivated enough to lift a finger to support them and of course the anti-gay civil rights people often driven by hatred, ignorance, and bigotry. I don't like those odds and I'm not surprised this mail in vote thing was opposed by gay civil rights advocates there. Civil rights for minorities, especially unpopular minorities, should not be so dependent on such opinion polling. The PRINCIPLE of civil rights for ALL should be stronger. 

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2 hours ago, Jingthing said:

I'm shy about predicting election results after you know what, but it seems to me that the marriage equality mail in vote thing has a good chance of failing. Why? Well of course unlike actual Australian elections, it is not mandatory, and the main people motivated to vote will be the effected people themselves (a small minority) and those motivated enough to lift a finger to support them and of course the anti-gay civil rights people often driven by hatred, ignorance, and bigotry. I don't like those odds and I'm not surprised this mail in vote thing was opposed by gay civil rights advocates there. Civil rights for minorities, especially unpopular minorities, should not be so dependent on such opinion polling. The PRINCIPLE of civil rights for ALL should be stronger. 

I fear you may be right on the likely outcome (no doubt planned that way by Abbott & his cronies). It's a bit appalling to think that Oz could be just about the last representative of Western civilization to finally stagger across the line ...

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11 hours ago, mfd101 said:

I fear you may be right on the likely outcome (no doubt planned that way by Abbott & his cronies). It's a bit appalling to think that Oz could be just about the last representative of Western civilization to finally stagger across the line ...

Personally I believe the vote will be 'Yes'. No surprise regards the push back by some sectors of Australian society, especially by those on the right who are so beloved by some members of TV who keep screaming about PC censorship - LOL

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I hope you're right (tho I'm preparing myself psychologically for defeat).

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Heterosexuals Deserve Our Support

Difficult as it might be to admit, there is some evidence that in an ideal world, and with all things being equal, one particular family arrangement does appear to have a slight advantage when it comes to raising children. Of course I am speaking about lesbian parenting, which multiple studies have shown confers certain advantages on children.

For example, in the United States National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study, teenagers of lesbian mothers were reported to do better socially and academically than other teenagers, and had fewer problems with rule-breaking and aggression.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/28/opinion/heterosexuals-deserve-our-support.html

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