Australians to vote on future of same-sex marriage in November_South Pacific_Asia Pacific Daily

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Australians to vote on future of same-sex marriage in November

South Pacific2017-08-09

Australians will head to the polls on Nov. 25 to vote in a plebiscite which will decide the future of same-sex marriage in the country, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced on Tuesday.After weeks of debate between the two major parties about the best way to have the issue decided, the government has announced that a plebiscite, or public vote, would occur later this year, with the plebiscite bill to be introduced into the Senate later this week.When announcing the plebiscite in Canberra on Tuesday, Turnbull said that if the Senate rejects his party's measures, the matter will instead be decided by a non-compulsory postal vote in September and October."The important thing is every Australian gets their say. Every Australian on the electoral roll will get a ballot paper as long as they are on the electoral roll and they will fill that in and have their say and their vote will be counted," Turnbull told the press.The announcement came days after a poll showed that the issue of same-sex marriage was wearing thin on voters, who overwhelmingly said they wanted the issue dealt with before the end of the year.When asked which he would vote in a public vote, the prime minister said he believes that anyone has the right to marry, and that he would encourage others to vote that way at the polls."I believe that relationships, marriages should be available to people like (my wife and I), people of different sex and people of the same sex," Turnbull said."Other people have different views on that fundamental issue and I respect their views and are entitled to them."As I've said before in, I will be voting yes and I'd encourage others to do so."Turnbull also fended off criticism regarding the plebiscite method which is expected to cost more than 120 million Australian dollars (95 million U.S. dollars) to run."There are arguments against plebiscites, I understand that. But the weakest argument of all is that the Australian people can't have a respectful discussion on this topic," Turnbull told the press."Australians are able and have demonstrated that they can have a respectful discussion and I am committed to that."Despite what seems to be a gigantic step forward in the same-sex marriage debate, the opposition Labor Party has slammed the move, declaring that the government was too weak to allow a free vote in Parliament.Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek said while Turnbull was technically in charge of the nation, the far-right factions of the government were still running the Liberal-National Party (LNP).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."We've said all along that the best, cheapest and fastest way of resolving this is a vote in the Parliament," she told Sky News.If the matter is to be decided by postal vote, that is, if the plebiscite bill is voted down in the Senate, it would be conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)

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Australians will head to the polls on Nov. 25 to vote in a plebiscite which will decide the future of same-sex marriage in the country, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced on Tuesday.

After weeks of debate between the two major parties about the best way to have the issue decided, the government has announced that a plebiscite, or public vote, would occur later this year, with the plebiscite bill to be introduced into the Senate later this week.

When announcing the plebiscite in Canberra on Tuesday, Turnbull said that if the Senate rejects his party's measures, the matter will instead be decided by a non-compulsory postal vote in September and October.

"The important thing is every Australian gets their say. Every Australian on the electoral roll will get a ballot paper as long as they are on the electoral roll and they will fill that in and have their say and their vote will be counted," Turnbull told the press.

The announcement came days after a poll showed that the issue of same-sex marriage was wearing thin on voters, who overwhelmingly said they wanted the issue dealt with before the end of the year.

When asked which he would vote in a public vote, the prime minister said he believes that anyone has the right to marry, and that he would encourage others to vote that way at the polls.

"I believe that relationships, marriages should be available to people like (my wife and I), people of different sex and people of the same sex," Turnbull said.

"Other people have different views on that fundamental issue and I respect their views and are entitled to them.

"As I've said before in, I will be voting yes and I'd encourage others to do so."

Turnbull also fended off criticism regarding the plebiscite method which is expected to cost more than 120 million Australian dollars (95 million U.S. dollars) to run.

"There are arguments against plebiscites, I understand that. But the weakest argument of all is that the Australian people can't have a respectful discussion on this topic," Turnbull told the press.

"Australians are able and have demonstrated that they can have a respectful discussion and I am committed to that."

Despite what seems to be a gigantic step forward in the same-sex marriage debate, the opposition Labor Party has slammed the move, declaring that the government was too weak to allow a free vote in Parliament.

Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek said while Turnbull was technically in charge of the nation, the far-right factions of the government were still running the Liberal-National Party (LNP).

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.

"We've said all along that the best, cheapest and fastest way of resolving this is a vote in the Parliament," she told Sky News.

If the matter is to be decided by postal vote, that is, if the plebiscite bill is voted down in the Senate, it would be conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).


(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)


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