Senate poised to act on same-sex marriage

Dean Smith Will Introduce His Same-Sex Marriage Bill Within Hours Of A “Yes” Vote

The Senate Committee received submissions from hundreds of people, groups and organizations on both sides of the debate. A competing bill, likely to divide the governing coalition along ideological lines, would provide much more sweeping protections under anti-discrimination laws to people and businesses who refuse to serve same-sex couples.

The debate on the Smith bill is expected to start on Thursday and carry through to the next parliamentary sitting week, beginning in late November.

One of Smith's colleagues in the governing Liberal Party, backbencher James Paterson revealed his own draft bill on Monday. But the right-leaning coalition government remains divided on the issue, with lawmakers arguing whether to let celebrants and other service providers opt out of marrying gay couples on religious grounds. Much like the infamous Kim Davis in Kentucky.

The bill would also allow parents to remove their children from any classes they believed contained content that did not meet their beliefs about marriage.

The poll is non-binding but Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull immediately said he would fulfill a pledge to put a proposal to parliament to pass laws on marriage equality by the end of the year.

'This is not a marriage equality bill.

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"We do not want a dictatorship of the majority in this country".

"We have to recognise that there are some people who are conscientiously opposed to same-sex marriage", he told reporters.

Alex Greenwich, from the Equality Campaign who backed a Yes vote, said: "Our campaign has worked hard to bring Australians together and achieving marriage equality will be a unifying moment for our nation as we include everyone in our marriage laws".

"They voted "yes" for fairness, they voted "yes" for commitment, they voted "yes" for love".

Dean Smith's bill received cross-party support and was co-signed today by other Senators from the Liberal, Labor and Greens parties.

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