Supporters of marriage equality at a protest march in Sydney. This week, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced that Australia will participate in a postal plebiscite to gauge public opinion on the same-sex marriage debate. A pleb-a-what!? To somewhat stave off confusion here is a rundown on the rules of a plebiscite, why the Australian government is insisting on conducting one, why it has been perceived as controversial, and what the potential impact could be. A plebiscite, put simply, is a nationwide vote to gauge public feedback on a political proposal. This means that the results of a plebiscite are not legally-binding, unlike a referendum which has, in most instances, the power to alter the course of law.
Marriage equality law passes Australia's parliament in landslide vote
Same-sex marriage in Australia - Wikipedia
Ballots papers, in their millions, will begin to be sent out from next week. Picture: AFP. Australians will get the chance to judge whether their fellow citizens should be allowed to wed the person they love. Those who were around during the republic referendum will know what a tongue twister, brain scramble of a question that was. The ballots paper will be a simple yes or no answer. The postal survey is basically a huge opinion poll to gauge the views of Australians on same-sex marriage which MIGHT lead to a vote in Parliament. Only that vote can actually make same-sex marriage legal.
Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey
My thanks to Andrew Meares and Alex Ellinghausen for their superb efforts and to you for reading and commenting. You can follow me on Facebook. Andrew, Alex and I will be back in the morning for the start of the parliamentary debate. Please join us. Until then - have a wonderful evening.
Australia has voted to approve gay marriage after a majority of the population voted 'yes' in a historic postal survey on same-sex unions. Close to eight million people - representing A further 36, responses were 'unclear'. Every state and territory recorded a majority 'yes' vote above 60 per cent, bar NSW where Ten electorates - seven from NSW - cast their ballots against change with a majority voting 'No'.