TO­DAY IS D-DAY FOR SAME SEX MAR­RIAGE VOTE

NT News - - FRONT PAGE - TOM MINEAR

AUS­TRALIANS will learn to­day whether same-sex mar­riage will be le­galised, with Mal­colm Turn­bull declar­ing it should be a re­al­ity by the end of the year if the Yes vote wins.

More than 12.6 mil­lion peo­ple voted in the postal sur­vey and fi­nal polling num­bers sug­gest as many as 63 per cent backed chang­ing the na­tion’s mar­riage laws.

Leg­is­la­tion to pave the way for same-sex cou­ples to marry from next year has been lodged in Par­lia­ment by Lib­eral se­na­tor Dean Smith – cosigned by La­bor, Greens and cross­bench col­leagues – and de­bate could start as soon as to­mor­row.

The Prime Min­is­ter said ev­ery MP would be free to vote with their con­science and move any amend­ments to the Smith Bill, which is ex­pected to have the num­bers to pass through the Par­lia­ment by De­cem­ber 7.

He said the de­bate in Canberra would be “free-flow­ing” and “Par­lia­ment at its best”.

Mr Turn­bull said “the poll­sters will be re­ally rocked” if the Yes vote did not win.

“Each house will vote on the amend­ments and vote on the Bill and it is my be­lief that the Par­lia­ment will duly re­solve, if the peo­ple have voted Yes, to le­galise same-sex mar­riage be­fore we get up at the end of the year.”

Pic­ture: ADAM HEAD

Shana En­gel­hart and Ta­nia Veivers say it will ‘mean ev­ery­thing’ to them if they are able to be mar­ried

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