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Australians to soon post ballots in gay marriage survey

Australians to soon post ballots in gay marriage survey

Carrying vibrant posters and calling for marriage equality, the marchers packed the streets of central Sydney and Brisbane two days before the ballot papers were set to be mailed out to some 15 millions Australians.

Australia on Tuesday launched a postal vote on whether to legalize same-sex marriage as a widely watched poll indicated the country would be overwhelmingly in support.

The conservative government has now chosen an unusual approach - a voluntary and non-binding postal vote - after an election promise of a national plebiscite was knocked back twice by the Upper House, the Senate.

Though the survey does not have the power to change the law, it could lead to a vote in parliament.

Some 1,400 voters were surveyed between Wednesday and Saturday last week for the poll.

But the government refuses to release a draft bill until after the survey decides whether the Parliament will consider change.

We support marriage equality and believe all Australians deserve the freedom to marry the person they love, and to have their relationships recognised with the same dignity and legal protections as their neighbours, friends, and family.

"All I want is the right to marry Chris Hemsworth", he wrote on a placard held at a marriage equality rally.

The campaign against changing the law has focused on issues beyond marriage itself, including gender education in schools and the "right" of children to have a mother and a father.

Andrew Pasco, one of thousands of people who packed the streets of Sydney for the "yes" campaign rally on Sunday, said he was anxious the polarising debate could discourage moderate Australians from voting.

Copley and Eggins have been attending marriage equality rallies in the country for years, but now with millions of Australians about to vote their opinion on the issue, this past weekend's rally in Brisbane came with a greater sense of significance.

The postal vote will close on 7 November, with the result known later that month.


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