Published: Thu, November 16, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Same-sex marriage bill introduced to parliament as rival bill gets scrapped

Same-sex marriage bill introduced to parliament as rival bill gets scrapped

"I would like to think that the parliament will be able to meet somewhere in between to give effect to the decision of the Australian people ... and to also ensure that we accommodate the legitimate concern of many Australians for there to be appropriate levels of religious protections".

Mr Brandis said parliament would start the debate on same-sex marriage legalisation with Senator Smith's bill, if a "yes" vote is victorious.

The notice of motion in parliament proposed by West Australian Dean Smith comes as the Australian Bureau of Statistics prepares to release the result of the national marriage survey at 10am (AEDT) on Wednesday.

The Yes vote triumphed in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, accounting for 61.6 per cent of the vote, while 38.4 per cent of respondents voted No.

Instead, they will attempt to table a string of amendments to the eventual marriage bill.

"To the parliament they have said "get this done, get on with it", and that is what we are going to do", Mr Turnbull told A Current Affair.

It's also favoured by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who believes a push by conservative coalition MPs to impose wider religious protections on a same-sex marriage bill have virtually no prospect of winning parliament's backing.

"There will no doubt be plenty of amendments the end of it they will come to a conclusion on an amended bill".

The motion details that Thursday's debate on the bill "shall have precedence over all general business until not later than 6pm".

"It's already against the law", Senator Brandis said.

It is unclear what would legally constitute a genuine, secular, conscientious objection to same-sex marriage.

Debates are expected to kick off with Senator Dean Smith's bill.

Anti-LGBT Senator Eric Abetz, a strong opponent of equal marriage and the government's former Senate leader, this week said he would back amendments seeking "freedom to discriminate" loopholes, which equality activists say would undermine LGBT rights protections.

"You could potentially see a situation where a hire vehicle company could leave their customers stranded on the way to a marriage ceremony simply because the driver held a thought or belief against it". "Personally, I believe that the Paterson bill goes somewhat too far. This is even if the belief had nothing to do with religion", Law Council chief Fiona McLeod said.

"I don't see the case is made for massive amendments", he said of the Smith bill.

Earlier today Mathias Cormann, who is a leader from the conservative side of the Liberal Party, said the Smith bill was a good starting point but needed "additional religious protections".

Senator Matt Canavan told ABC News24 that he would respect the wishes of Queensland and would not oppose a same-sex marriage bill, but added he "won't support a bill that diminishes fundamental human rights", arguing that the Smith bill was not "adequate". It would push for the bill to be passed as quickly as possible.

Mr Shorten said the only delay would be from conservatives who say that marriage equality offends religious freedom.

An incredible 78% of eligible Australians have cast their vote - a bigger turnout than in the UK's Brexit referendum.

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