Aussie politicians go postal over same-sex marriage vote

Australian Labor leader Bill Shorten introduced a same-sex marriage bill in 2015.
Australian Labor leader Bill Shorten introduced a same-sex marriage bill in 2015. Photo credit: Getty

After years of debate both in parliament and on the street, all Australians will be asked for their views about same-sex marriage via a postal poll organised by the government.

Former Prime Minister and staunch campaigner for a no vote, Tony Abbott has spoken out strongly against the proposed law change.  That's despite the fact his own sister is waiting for the day she can legally marry her same-sex partner.

At a press conference, Mr Abbott said the issue was about "political correctness".

"If you don't like same-sex marriage: vote no. If you are worried about freedom of speech and freedom of religion, vote no. If you don't like political correctness, vote no, because this is the best way to stop it in its tracks."

Mr Abbott's sister Christine Forster was quick to respond.

"If you value mutual respect: vote yes. If you want all Australians to be equal: vote yes. If you believe in free speech: vote yes. If you want the person you love to be in every sense a part of your family: vote yes."

Malcolm Turnbull's government's first option of a compulsory plebiscite on the issue has been rejected by a slim majority of Senators, meaning the nationwide postal vote option will be triggered and could take place as early as October. Australians now have 14 days to ensure they are enrolled to vote.

The final day of Parliament for the year is December 7. A yes majority result in the same-sex marriage postal vote would encourage MPs to bring an early Christmas present for those waiting to marry their same-sex partners.