The Senate could begin debating changes to the Marriage Act as early as this week if the'Yes vote comes out on top
14 November, 2017, 18:55
Almost 80 per cent of eligible Australians took part in the voluntary poll, a return rate that compares more than favourably with the 91 per cent who voted at the compulsory 2016 federal election.
Senator Reynolds said that while she backed the bill, she reserved her right "to support amendments that seek to further increase religious protections".
"But I suspect it will need improvement in terms of strengthening religious protections", he told ABC radio.
"My own view is that people, like ministers of religion, should not be obliged to conduct a ceremony of marriage against the teachings or doctrines of their church and Senator Dean Smith's bill does provide an exemption of that kind", he said.
Liberal senator James Paterson has proposed an alternative same-sex marriage bill.
Australian Statistician, David W Kalisch, will release the results of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey at a media conference at 10am on November 15. His sponsorship of the bill is created to counter suggestions by the education minister, Simon Birmingham, that it would be "illogical" for conservative opponents of marriage equality to be the ones to propose a bill.
Senator Smith's bill draws on the recommendations of a Senate committee and has the backing of the other prominent same-sex marriage supporters on the Coalition backbench: Trent Zimmerman, Trevor Evans, Warren Enstch and Tim Wilson.
Dear Lifehacker, there's been a lot of coverage about the voting and enrolment deadlines for the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey.
Almost eight in 10 Australians who received the Australian Bureau of Statistics same-sex marriage survey form have already had their say.
Charities that do not believe in same-sex marriage could not be stripped of their charitable status, while religious schools and institutions would be protected in teaching traditional marriage. However, if the Labor Party wins the next federal election, we could see marriage equality be reintroduced in parliament.
The move has inflamed tensions between the conservatives and moderates in the party and set the stage for a lengthy parliamentary debate over religious freedoms and anti-discrimination laws.
"It would be self-defeating to repeal discrimination and replace it with discrimination", he said.
On Wednesday, Australia will finally know how more than 12 million people voted in the eight-week poll, with a Yes result meaning gay couples could get married before Christmas. Many other MPs have said it's 'complicated' and will wait for the final result before they announce their move.
"What we've seen during this debate is the conflation of a whole range of issues which frankly have nothing to do with the Marriage Act".
"There is no apology for the fact that the Bill does not address free speech or parental rights - because it's a Bill about marriage equality".