Australians to vote on future of same-sex marriage in November

Any move to hold a postal vote on same-sex marriage is likely to be challenged in the High Court

It is highly likely the plebiscite legislation will be voted down again as there are not enough numbers in the Senate in favour of it.

"Today's decision has let down the millions of Australians who support marriage equality and will only inspire us to push harder for this vital reform", he added in a statement.

Parliament would decide the issue only if the vote found most Australians supported gay marriage.

"It won't be me only, the whole show would blow up", Broad told the Sunraysia Daily newspaper.

The Australian Marriage Equality organisation made it clear it still wants to see a free vote.

On Monday, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the government would re-introduce the same legislation, but accompanied by a contingency plan to counter any rejection by the upper house, where the government does not have a majority.

Debate continues in Canberra over same sex marriage, after the Liberal Party held a series of meetings on Monday.

Turnbull's reasoning for the plebiscite and postal vote is that it will allow "all Australians to have their say".

"As I've said before in, I will be voting yes and I'd encourage others to do so". The postal vote not be compulsory and will cost taxpayers $122 million.

Liberal MPs met for two hours last night, where they voted to put a plebiscite before Parliament for a second-time.

Labor leader Bill Shorten asked the prime minister in question time on Tuesday whether he endorsed the "vile rubbish" of anti-gay-marriage campaigners such as former Tasmanian Liberal MP Chris Miles. Leader senator Cory Bernardi says: "The Australian Conservatives are the only party that has a policy to maintain marriage in its current form".

The Equality Campaign dialled back its threat to launch legal action the day after a postal vote was floated, saying instead there was a "strong, strong prospect" of a challenge.

The Australian Parliament in 2004 approved a nationwide law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

Senator Nick Xenophon, whose minor party opposed the plebiscite in the November vote, said gay marriage would become an election issue if the plebiscite was blocked by the senate or the courts.

If most Australians want gay marriage, the Parliament would vote on legislation before the last two-week session of Parliament of the year ends on December 7.

"Strong leaders carry out their promises, weak leaders break them", Mr Turnbull told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.

"There are ID requirements, but there are people who don't have the required identification and we understand that, so you can have a third party who is on the roll to do it with you, and they can declare that you are who you say you are".

The 2016 Census indicated there is a total of 47,000 same-sex couples living in Australia - up from 33,000 in 2011 - which means a growing number of people will be affected by the results of the vote.

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