Gay marriage vote set to go postal


The Senate will likely vote down plebiscite 2.0, as all those opposed to it last time (Labor, the Greens, the three Nick Xenophon Team senators and Derryn Hinch) have promised to knock it back once more.

But the Senate would not allow the so-called plebiscite, which would have cost 160 million Australian dollars ($127 million), and the result could have been ignored by lawmakers when deciding how to vote on gay marriage legislation in Parliament.

But if the legislation is voted down again (as it was in November past year, and as is likely again in any new vote), the government will push for a postal plebiscite, with mail forms to arrive in letterboxes from mid-September. Week leaders break them.

"The Coalition supports the traditional definition of marriage between a man and a woman, but we won't seek to bind people beyond this term of Parliament and in the next will be the people's decision", Abbott said at the time.

The Coalition will submit a bill for a compulsory plebiscite this week and if it is once again rejected by the Senate a voluntary postal vote will be held instead.

The Senate in November 2016 voted down the plebiscite proposal and the new attempt is expected to face the same fate.

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It will be organised through the Australian Bureau of Statistics and cost $122 million.

Last night, Queensland MP Warren Entsch, who has campaigned on marriage equality for 15 years and argued strongly for change in the party room yesterday, signalled he would hold on pulling the trigger on a co-sponsored, gay marriage private member's Bill.

The opposition Labor party has repeatedly called for a simple vote in parliament to approve the same-sex marriage, which consecutive polls show most Australians support.

"The plebiscite, the postal plebiscite - whatever it is - it is just a stalling tactic that the government will use because they don't want to get on with doing their job on this".

Stefanovic's rant starts off strong, describing Australia as a country "governed by fools" with a government "ironically incapable of leadership".

"Strong leaders carry out their promises".

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The Australian Parliament had the opportunity to vote on legalizing same-sex marriage.

If the vote was "no", nothing more would happen.

"It is now up to others in the Senate, who may have voted against the plebiscite in the past, the full compulsory attendance plebiscite, and make a decision on whether they prefer a compulsory attendance plebiscite or whether they prefer a postal voluntary plebiscite".

She said the costly plebiscite was a waste of money and the prime minister's way of bowing to the wishes of his ultra-conservative colleagues, who she said were scared that same-sex marriage would be legalized by the Parliament after a free vote.

Campaigners for same-sex marriage are confident the law will be changed if Coalition MPs are given a conscience vote on a bill.

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