Australian PM says government aims to legalise same-sex marriage by year-end

Australian PM says government aims to legalise same-sex marriage by year-end

Australian PM says government aims to legalise same-sex marriage by year-end

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has pledged not to allow a discriminatory bill to get through that would have allowed "religious freedom" exceptions.

The official count of Australia's gay marriage survey have 61 per cent voting "Yes" that same-sex couples should be able to marry by Christmas.

Nearly 62 percent of the 12.7 million people who participated in the two-month postal survey voted in favour of allowing gay marriage, the Australian Bureau of Statistics announced at a press conference in Canberra.

In a speech after the result Equality Campaign spokesman, Alex Greenwich, said: "Today love has had a landslide victory". "It's a simple law that takes nothing from anybody; it comes at no cost and will be profoundly positive for the LGBTIQ people".

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But even ahead of the release of the results, conservative politicians inside the Australian parliament were preparing for a fight over how marriage equality would be legalized. The Australian economy will reap a windfall through the spin-off benefits from additional weddings, along with a slight boost to confidence, ANZ Bank said in September.

Smith's bill would continue the current exemption for religious ministers to refuse to solemnise any marriage they want, provide a grandfather clause allowing current civil celebrant to move into a new category that would also have the right to refuse, and allow religious organisations the right to refuse to serve same-sex weddings.

The intense campaign pitted marriage equality advocates against conservative and religious groups arguing that any change would erode religious freedoms by unleashing the forces of unfettered political correctness. That would involve overriding existing discrimination laws and creating special dispensation for people who held the "relevant belief" that homosexual relationships are unholy or immoral. Sydney, the nation's largest city, has hosted the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras since 1978.

"If the parliament opts for a narrower bill with fewer protections, I fear we will see some Australians seek to impose their values on others, with court cases and other legal mechanisms", he said in a statement announcing the draft bill.

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