Marriage equality bill in the wings
WA Liberal Senator Dean Smith will make history this week, confirming he will introduce his same-sex marriage bill on Thursday — one day after the result of the postal survey is announced.
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.
Senator Smith last night told the Sunday Herald Sun his Marriage Amendment (Definitions and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017 would be tabled in parliament the following day.
“I am sure the great majority of Australians share my view — if a Yes vote is announced, the parliamentary debate should begin at the earliest possible opportunity,” Senator Smith said.
“After a cost of $122 million, and over two months of campaigning and years of public discussion, it makes no sense to delay a parliamentary debate.
“Australians upheld their end of the bargain by voting en masse — now it’s time for parliament to uphold its end of the same deal.”
Senator Smith said as the Senate was sitting last week, it made “no sense” to delay making marriage equality law in Australia.
“Beginning the debate in the Senate allows the House of Representatives to debate the bill in its last two sitting weeks of the year.”
WA Liberal MP Ian Goodenough said a dozen conservatives were working on an alternative bill that would offer more protections for Australians who did not support same-sex marriage. The bill could also be introduced into the Senate this week.