GAY MARRIAGE Results of same-sex union survey to be revealed today
AISLE BE READY FOR THE RUSH
MALCOLM Turnbull is preparing to front the Australian public today to celebrate a “yes” vote to gay marriage.
“The pollsters will really be rocked if there isn’t,” Mr Turnbull trumpeted yesterday while dismissing calls for greater protections for those against gay marriage.
But as key frontbenchers and backbenchers expressed unofficial cautious jubilation, several conservatives against gay equality were last night planning tactics to “help save” traditional marriage.
It comes as Queenslander Cabinet Minister Matt Canavan told The Courier-Mail yesterday he was not convinced traditional marriage proponents had lost the debate and was last night hoping for a “no” vote.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics will release the outcome of the eight million votes at 9am Queensland time, breaking the vote down to electorate level, meaning parliamentarians will face pressure to mirror their constituents’ wishes when a private member’s Bill is introduced today.
West Australian senator Dean Smith yesterday gave notice he would move for his private member’s Bill on gay marriage to be introduced today and be debated from tomorrow.
It is understood the Government, which does not support a rival Bill with further protections for those against gay marriage, wants potential amendments to Senator Smith’s Bill put forward in the Senate – so it can be ticked and flicked in the House of Representatives next fortnight.
Conservative and former Abbott minister Eric Abetz said extra protection was needed. “The unfortunate history in the United Kingdom and elsewhere is ... we’ve got a real life example, with a Jewish girls school in the United Kingdom having its registration threatened because it was not willing to teach to primary school girls the homosexual agenda and the transgender agenda that the government thought was now appropriate given that same-sex marriage had been legislated in the United Kingdom,’’ Senator Abetz told Sky News yesterday.
“And to suggest that it won’t happen, with respect, is to ignore history, the recent events in a very similar country and constituency like our own namely the United Kingdom.
“A definite example that cannot be pushed aside and we’ve got to protect against this and if Senator (Simon) Birmingham is of that view (that is a false premise), he will have no difficulty in supporting Senator (James) Paterson’s legislation, which would guarantee that which he promises.”
Malcolm Turnbull, who has returned to Australia after overseas summits, said yesterday there was no need for extra safeguards that would embolden discrimination against gay Australians.
“I don’t believe Australians would welcome, and certainly the Government would not countenance the making legal discrimination that is unlawful today,” Mr Turnbull said.
“The fact is that assuming there is a yes vote – the poll- within the