November plebiscite dates set out for vote on whether or not to legalise same-sex marriage

AUSTRALIANS could get a chance to vote on whether or not to legalise same-sex marriage in November.

The Coalition party room has been told that the latest attempt to pass legislation to enable a national ballot on same-sex marriage will nominate November 25 for polling day.

If the full-blown election style voting day fails to pass the Senate, which is likely given opposition from Labor, the Greens and key crossbenchers, then a postal plebiscite will be held.

The proposal is to mail out the ballots on September 12 with a requirement to return them by November 7, giving voters eight weeks to have their say.

As the postal plebiscite is non-compulsory and non-binding to votes by members and Senators, it is likely to face a High Court challenge on Constitutional grounds.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told a press conference at noon on Tuesday that the postal plebiscite would be run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and would cost $122 million, about 40 million less than an in-person vote.

Member for Mallee Andrew Broad has pledged to vote in the same manner as the majority of constituents in his electorate.

Member for Wannon Dan Tehan has pledged to follow the national result.

The Liberal Party resolved on Monday evening to keep its policy to hold a plebiscite despite seven members and senators speaking in favour of holding a free vote in Parliament.

Mr Broad had threatened to quit the government’s ranks and sit on the crossbench if the government abandoned its election promise to hold a plebiscite.

The Liberal members campaigning for a free vote have ruled out crossing the floor to force debate on a private members bill that would legalise same-sex marriage.


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