How you can follow same sex marriage survey results live

The Senate could begin debating changes to the Marriage Act as early as this week if the'Yes vote comes out on top

'Australia's anti-discrimination laws were amended in 2013 to enact important protections for LGBTI people in recognition of the unacceptable levels of discrimination.

And versions of this marriage equaity bill include so-called religious freedom exemptions that attack LGBT rights, reports Al Jazeera.

If the "yes" vote prevails in the postal survey - to be announced Wednesday - the government has indicated it will facilitate debate on Liberal senator Dean Smith's private member's bill.

Australia has edged closer to legalising same-sex marriage with a diverse group of cross-party senators backing a Liberal senator's bill to change the law.

"My own view is that people, like ministers of religion, should not be obliged to conduct a ceremony of marriage against the teachings or doctrines of their church and Senator Dean Smith's bill does provide an exemption of that kind", he said.

The proposed bill has been heavily criticised by supporters of gay marriage with Alex Greenwich, co-chair of Australian Marriage Equality, claiming it has the potential to "divide Australians".

AFTER months of drawn out debate, the nation will soon hear the result of the marriage equality postal vote on Wednesday.

It would introduce "anti-detriment" provisions to shield government employees and licensed professionals from adverse action on the basis of the fact the person holds a belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. However, if the Labor Party wins the next federal election, we could see marriage equality be reintroduced in parliament.

"For those who want to see the marriage certificate, they're the ones waiting".

"It was part of the journey in Ireland [during the referendum on marriage equality], the issue of freedom to discriminate against people, but that debate lasted a couple of hours because Irish people remember what those signs look like".

The Paterson bill sets the stage for a party-room showdown with Liberal moderates, who believe discrimination laws should not be watered down to allow differential treatment of same-sex weddings. Cormann said thought the Smith bill was "a good starting position" but thought it would need improvement to "strengthen religious protections".

"It would be self-defeating to repeal discrimination and replace it with discrimination", he said.

If the majority of Australians vote yes, and the ABC's survey is correct, then 70% of the House of Representatives and 68% of the Senate will vote for same-sex marriage. Many other MPs have said it's 'complicated' and will wait for the final result before they announce their move.

"This is just another attempt to delay passing marriage equality".



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