Malcolm Turnbull confident marriage equality legislation won’t be delayed

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is confident that if the winning result of the marriage postal survey is ‘Yes’, a private members bill allowing for marriage equality will be passed by the parliament before Christmas.

The PM restated his belief that a bill could be passed in the final two weeks of parliament sitting in 2017 during a discussion with

“We’ve got the ABS survey, it’s been really well received, nearly 70 per cent of the people who were sent the ballots have returned them already, so it’s a massive participation,” Turnbull said.

“If there is a Yes vote, then we will ensure there is a private members bill to legalise same-sex marriage and I have no doubt the parliament will deal with that before we all break up in December.”

Pressed by interviewer Joe Hildebrand about his confidence that the issue would be quickly resolved, Turnbull said “It will, it absolutely will”.

The PM said the given the high response rate to the survey, if the result showed the Australian people wanted the marriage laws to change it would ‘”sail through” parliament.

The government has been criticised by former Liberal Prime Minister John Howard, a leading voice of the ‘no’ campaign, for not releasing specific legislation before sending out the voluntary postal survey.

The ‘No’ campaign lead by the Coalition for Marriage has said the allowing same sex couples the right to marry would lead to freedom of speech and religious freedom being curtailed.

The group has however been reluctant to detail what provisions they would like to see included in any legislation, arguing that they do not want to see any changes to the marriage laws to begin with.

Lyle Shelton, the Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby, a long standing campaigner against same sex marriage has also been vocally calling for protections for religious freedom without detailing what protections need to be included.

During a recent interview on Sky News, Shelton said that there should be a “no detriment” provision, so people of faith were not affected by any potential changes to the laws.

While many bills have been presented to the parliament over the years, the most recent one is from Liberal Senator Dean Smith. That bill, like all previous bills, does not compel churches to marry to same sex couples, but also included provisions for current civil celebrants from a religious background.

This week the Labor party announced that they would support the bill from Senator Smith should the marriage postal survey return a ‘Yes’ verdict.

Conservative politicians however have begun working on their own bill, which reportedly will have religious exemptions that go ‘beyond the ceremony’.

Western Australian Liberal MP’s Andrew Hastie and Ian Goodenough have confirmed their working with colleagues including Senator Eric Abetz and Zed Seselja and Australian Conservatives leader Cory Bernardi.

OIP Staff

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