What next for same-sex marriage

James Paterson at a Senate public hearing for the postal survey

Ms McLeod said the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017, endorsed by five government members including Senator Dean Smith, already extended existing protections for freedom of religious expression in the context of marriage and was a reasonable compromise.

The proposal comes after a bombshell poll found half of Australians support service providers being allowed to refuse same-sex weddings on the basis of private religious views.

"The bill would allow people to refuse to provide goods and services on the grounds of belief, thought and conscience, taking us well beyond religious beliefs into unchartered waters", she said.

Australian Marriage Equality co-chair Alex Greenwich warned the bill could lead to discrimination against divorced people remarrying and people who have had children out of wedlock.

The Paterson bill also includes an "anti-detriment clause" that would protect a number of beliefs under the law - including the view that marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman; that sex should only be between a married man and woman; that gender is binary; and even the view that same-sex relationships are immoral or wrong.

The result of Australia's national postal vote on same-sex marriage is expected Wednesday.

A marriage bill allowing wide-ranging discrimination against same-sex weddings will be released by the Liberal senator James Paterson, in an attempt to force a Coalition party-room debate about which bill should be used to legislate marriage equality in the event of a yes vote.

"They can be debated ... but they shouldn't be confused with this bill which is created to deliver marriage equality".

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The Upper House of Australia's Parliament is sitting this week and both Houses will return on 27 November for two weeks before breaking for Christmas.

"On social media, people can often be a little more candid".

"If we were not to implement a decision on marriage equality, the nation would throw up its hands and give up on the parliament", he told a meeting of opposition senators in Canberra.

'That's the goal, ' Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull vowed ahead of the Australian Bureau of Statistics announcing on Tuesday which way more than 12 million people voted on the issue.

He has previously said that same-sex couples could be married by the end of the 2018 if voters back Yes, but experts say this is highly unlikely. This is even if the belief had nothing to do with religion, ' Ms McLeod said.

Brandis flagged plans to amend the bill when it goes to committee to extend the right of conscientious objection to from ministers of religion to include civil marriage celebrants.

The campaign has also been dogged by homophobic attacks from No campaigners, with hundreds of anti-gay attacks recorded while voting was open.

Shock ballot-box results from Brexit to the U.S. presidential election have campaigners wary of published opinion polls. That's a pretty significant proportion of our fellow Australians and I think their right to have their own belief should be protected.

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