Here’s how the same-sex decision will play out today
9.30AM The man with the golden envelope, containing the final tally, will be Australian Statistician David W. Kalisch. Ahead of the public announcement, Mr Kalisch will inform Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, as well as a number of representatives from both Yes and No camps.
10AM The big announcement. Live from the Australian Bureau of Statistics in Canberra, Mr Kalisch will reveal the result. As well as the straight Yes and No numbers, he will also detail the results for each age group, state and federal electorate. If it’s a Yes, this last bit will be key for wavering MPs, some of who could decide to follow their electorate rather than the national vote.
IF IT’S A YES Cue a lot of celebrating and a fair few wedding proposals. Around 5pm, the giant rainbow flag, which flutters above Taylor Square in the heart of Sydney’s LGBTI neighbourhood of Darlinghurst, will be raised.
THURSDAY A Yes will see pro-same-sex marriage advocates desert their campaign bases in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and elsewhere to head en masse to Canberra to push for a law change. It’s possible that on Thursday, two competing same-sex marriage bills could be tabled in the Senate.
Talking to news.com.au last month, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he was hopeful marriage equality would be legal “by Christmas”. MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27 This is the first day either bill could be tabled in the House of Representatives. A same-sex marriage bill has to pass both the Reps and the Senate before it can be made law by the Governor-General. How politicians choose to vote is, ultimately, up to them.
JANUARY 2018 If same-sex marriage is legalised before Christmas, this is the very earliest marriages are likely to happen given the standard 30-day waiting period.
IF IT’S A NO Mr Turnbull has said the issue will be then be off the table. However, if Labor wins the next federal election all bets could be off. The party has committed to tabling a bill in its first 100 days in office.