Rival bill allows Australian wedding providers to refuse gay couples

Liberal senator James Paterson has proposed an alternative same-sex marriage bill

They voted "yes" for commitment.

"The Australian people have tasked us to get this done".

Nearly 80 percent of Australia's registered voters have responded to a postal survey on whether Parliament should lift the country's prohibition on same-sex marriage.

Senator Smith's bill, which has cross-party support, contains provisions so that ministers of religion could not be forced to conduct same-sex marriages.

Treasurer Scott Morrison signalled plans to move amendments to the proposed laws and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton will also get involved, while junior ministers and conservatives Michael Sukkar and Liberal Zed Seselja will also play a key role.

The notice of motion in parliament proposed by West Australian Dean Smith comes as the Australian Bureau of Statistics prepares to release the result of the national marriage survey at 10am (AEDT) on Wednesday.

"I suspect 30-40% of Australian will vote no".

Most of the western Sydney seats that voted "no" have a relatively higher level of religiosity and a high number of overseas-born residents, as reflected in the census.

Tiernan Brady, the director of Australian Marriage Equality, told HuffPost Australia last week the religious freedoms argument ran counter-intuitive to the idea of having a vote for marriage equality.

Attorney-General George Brandis moved the bill into the Senate, noting that it would be open for free debate and there was no Government position on the bill. Mr Abbott is publicly unpopular but has become a vocal champion of conservative causes in Australia and has clout among conservative Coalition MPs.

Australians have said they support gay marriage in a postal survey that ensures the Parliament considers a bill to legalize same-sex weddings this year.

Paterson, who is a supporter of same-sex marriage, said he thinks "religious freedom and speech are important rights".

The final version of the bill, however, is unlikely to be vastly different given any amendments would need to be supported by a majority in both chambers.

His first break today was rebel Liberal senator James Paterson withdrawing his rival bill, which allowed for business owners to put a sign in the window of their shop saying "I don't serve gay weddings" based on "religious or conscientious belief".

In particular, Mr Morrison outlined a series of changes including the ability for parents to withdraw their children from schools if they were taught about same-sex marriage, protections for religious organisations that now have tax-deductible status or receive public funds, and a "no-detriment" clause for people who believe in traditional marriage.

Debate on legislation to legalise same sex marriage will likely begin in the senate tomorrow.

"That would be profoundly disrespectful and a rebuke to the people of Australia". "Victory can not be making someone else feel excluded", he said.

Almost 80 per cent of eligible Australians took part in the voluntary poll, a return rate that compares more than favourably with the 91 per cent who voted at the compulsory 2016 federal election.



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