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Australians to hold national vote for legalizing same-sex marriage

By Newsd
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Australians to hold national vote for legalizing same-sex marriage
Source: CNN

Australia may soon legalize same-sex marriage by the end of this year as the government announced an attempt to hold a national vote on the issue. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters on Tuesday he would “give all Australians a say” on whether same-sex marriage should be legal.

“I’ll be voting yes, as will (my wife), I’m very open about that but the Australian people are never wrong when they vote, whether it’s for governments or on matters like this, their vote will be respected,” Turnbull said. Notably, the Liberal National Coalition attempted once in October 2016 to pass the legislation to authorize funding for a compulsory national vote, or plebiscite, but it was narrowly rejected.

Turnbull said the legislation would be reintroduced over this week, and if rejected a voluntary national postal vote would be held instead without parliamentary approval. Whether a plebiscite or a postal vote is held, Turnbull said it would be completed before the final sitting week of Australia’s parliament in November. Both options have been widely-condemned by same-sex marriage advocates, who say a vote is unnecessary and expensive, while a polarizing campaign would be traumatic for Australia’s LGBT community.

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.

“Our family and friends deserve better. Marriage equality is about real people, our friends and family, teammates and works colleagues who just want the same dignity as everyone else,” Anna Brown, co-chair of the Equality Campaign, said in a statement.


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