Same-sex marriage hot topic in Aust elections

Same-sex marriage hot topic in Aust elections

As Australia gets into election year, same-sex marriage is a hot topic.

The Opposition is promising to fast forward legislation if they're elected, while the Conservatives can't seem to keep their story straight about what they plan to do.

It was an historic moment at the weekend when Malcom Turnbull became the first Australian Prime Minister to attend Mardi Gras in Sydney.

And while it's all smiles, inside his government is not so unified.

No sooner had Attorney General George Brandis announced that a public vote, or plebiscite, on same sex-marriage would be held than the Prime Minister's office had backed away saying instead the vote would be held "as soon as possible", which may be music to the ears of some of Turnbull's Conservatives.

"I don't think too many people in the party room would've been expecting that we would have been looking at an end of year deadline," says Dennis Jensen.

With a $160 million price tag, some critics say the vote is a waste of money.

Same-sex marriage advocates say polling the public on such a sensitive issue is also a waste of time.

"We don't really need a plebiscite and we certainly don't need to wait until the end of the year," says Rodney Croome from Australian Marriage Equality.

The Opposition have been quick to criticise the government's change of heart -- still, this could leave them to pick up the same-sex slack.

Either way Australia appears to be no closer when it comes to equality.