Australian Marriage Equality Vote: Everything You Need To Know [Updated]

Australian Marriage Equality Vote: Everything You Need To Know [Updated]
Image: iStock

Australians have had the opportunity to vote on the issue of same-sex marriage in Australia via a postal survey since September 12. There’s a lot of information to take in and not all of the language is easy to understand. We’ve collated everything we know about the survey right here.

Australians have had their say and have voted YES to Marriage Equality. Same-sex couples will be able to marry from January 9, 2018.

What are we voting on?

Australians will be asked to vote on whether or not they believe same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

The postal survey will only ask a single question and that question can only be answered with a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’. The question that will be posed in the survey is:

Do you support a change in the law to allow same-sex couples to marry?

Who’s running the Australian Marriage Law survey?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will be conducting the postal survey. Yes, that is the same agency that couldn’t get the Census right but, hey, at least this time they’re using snail mail so it’s not like the servers can crash, right? There’s still no word on why the ABS got the nod instead of the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).

Lifehacker asked the ABS why it is conducting the survey as opposed to the AEC and was told “Collecting statistical information is core business for the ABS.”

It’s also the reason that we are now calling this a ‘postal survey’, rather than a ‘plebiscite’. This is definitely not a ‘referendum’.

What’s the difference between a referendum, a plebiscite and a postal survey?

A referendum is only undertaken when the Australian Constitution needs to be changed. It is compulsory for every Australian to vote in a referendum and the Government is bound by the result. As the Marriage Act (1961) and the Marriage Amendment Act (2004) are not part of the constitution, a referendum will not take place.

In regards to plebiscites, the AEC states: “Governments can hold plebiscites to test whether people either support or oppose a proposed action on an issue.”

Essentially, a plebiscite is carried out like a referendum, but like Whose Line Is It Anyway? the results “don’t matter”. More accurately, the results are non-binding and the Government is not legally required to enact the result. The last plebiscite that Australia held was on May 21 1977, when a question was added to the ballot paper of the 1977 referendum asking which tune we would prefer as our National Song.

The postal survey is essentially a plebiscite, but it is voluntary and occurs via post, rather than at a polling booth. However, owing to the fact this is not run by the AEC and is instead run by the ABS it is officially known as the ‘Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey.’ Other interchangeable terms I’ve seen are ‘postal plebiscite’, ‘postal vote’ and ‘same-sex marriage vote’ and ‘same-sex marriage postal survey’.

Why are we voting on same-sex marriage?

There’s an incredibly complex and detailed response to this question, but the short of it is that same-sex marriage was a huge issue at the 2016 election. Malcolm Turnbull’s Coalition government stated that they would hold a compulsory attendance plebiscite on the issue of same-sex marriage if they were elected and so they brought the bill to Parliament but it was shot down by Labor, the Greens and various crossbenchers because of it’s expense, the fact that it was non-binding and how it would potentially affect the LGBTI community. After trying to get the bill through Parliament a second time, it was again knocked back and so the Coalition government decided to hold this ‘postal survey’, which means that legislation would not have to be passed for the plebiscite to occur.

That’s the history, but the reason the public are voting on it is because, like many developed nations, there has been a marked change in attitude towards same-sex marriage over the past decade and numerous calls to enact changes to the law that allow same-sex couples to be wed. Under the current legislation, the Marriage Amendment Act (2004), which made amendments to the original Marriage Act (1961), the law states that “marriage means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.”

Therefore, same-sex couples are legally unable to be wed in Australia.

When do I get my same-sex marriage survey?

You should start receiving same sex marriage survey forms from Tuesday, September 12 onward.

Some reports say that November 7 is the final day to post your vote but this is not true. The ABS will not accept surveys received at the address after 6pm on this date. If you post your vote on this date, it’s very unlikely that it will reach the ABS on time unless Australia Post is using Game of Thrones-level methods of transportation.

Thus, you are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to return forms by October 27.

Provided you get your forms on September 12, you have 48 days to answer and post your vote back before October 27.

If you are yet to receive your form, you should check out our guide on what to do next.

What happens if I lose my same-sex marriage survey form?

If, for whatever reason, you lose or damage your form, you can request an additional form from the ABS up until 6pm on October 18. (Details on how to do this will be published on the ABS website when finalised.)

Australian Marriage Equality Vote: Everything You Need To Know [Updated]Image: Getty Images

I want to vote. How do I vote?

You have to be 18 years or older, have lived at your current address for over a month and be an Australian citizen to enrol to vote in Australia. For the purposes of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, you MUST have been enrolled to vote by August 24. If you want to check your enrolment status, you can head to the Australian Electoral Commission website.

As long as you were on the Electoral Roll prior to midnight August 24, you will be able to participate in the survey – this includes people overseas, in remote or rural areas and those that need assistance because of disability. However, for the vast majority, there will be no polling stations and no democracy sausages.

But I’ve never posted a letter before?

That’s okay. I hadn’t for a long time before the survey arrived! In your mailbox you will receive both a survey form and a reply-paid envelope, which means that you do not have to purchase stamps to be able to post it – you just need to put your completed survey form in the envelope, seal it and drop it in an Australia Post box.

Where can I find an Australia Post box?

You can use this tool on the Australia Post website to locate Post Offices and Post Boxes near your area.

What happens if I turned 18 after August 24 but before the poll close on November 7?

Unfortunately, the AEC has stated that you will not be eligible to vote in the postal survey. This is because August 24 is the date that the AEC gave the Electoral Roll details to the ABS to conduct the survey and they are legally only allowed to hand over the details of those who are enrolled.

Those who have pre-enrolled at 17 years old and turn 18 after August 24 are only ‘provisionally’ enrolled on the Electoral Roll until they turn 18 and the AEC is not legally allowed to hand over these details to the ABS. If you turned 18 on August 24 you were still eligible to participate in the postal survey, as long as you enrolled before midnight.

I’m eligible to vote but I am not able to receive mail during the survey. How do I vote?

The ABS expects that the majority of Australians will be able to participate in the survey using the postal service. However, they are implementing special strategies for those that are unable to complete the survey form via post.

The ABS has an extensive section on their website that details the various services that will be in place for those that need assistance voting. There are a number of different ways in which they will implement the special strategies to enable participation.

In short, the ABS will set up locations in every capital city and some rural and remote locations where the survey response form can be picked up. The ABS website will detail the locations and times for picking up forms on their website when that information becomes available.

A paperless method will also be offered to those overseas, those that experience blindness or disability and those in remote locations. From the ABS: “Eligible Australians in these categories will be able to request a Secure Access Code from the ABS through the Information Line or the ABS website from 25 September to 20 October 2017.” This access code will allow you to respond to the survey question either via telephony, an online form or through a call centre.

I’m physically unable to write my response on the form. How do I vote?

Those who cannot access or independently respond to the survey form can use a ‘trusted person’ to assist in completing the form in their place. The procedure for this is for the trusted person to complete the form and sent it back to the ABS via post. There are no safeguards in place for verifying that the trusted person has ensured the response is truthful.

For any further information you can contact the ABS Information Line on 1800 572 113. It is open seven days a week, 8am to 8pm (local time).

I am an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Person living remotely. How do I vote?

The ABS have stated that they are “working with the Australian Electoral Commission, State / Territory Electoral Commissions, Commonwealth Departments, Australia Post and State / Territory Government officials to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have the opportunity to participate in the survey.”

To ensure this is the case, they will mail out survey forms to a variety of locations, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, PO boxes or any nominated mailing addresses such as shelters, hotels or workers camps. Importantly, these locations will be prioritised in the initial survey form dispatch so that they are able to be received and returned in time.

In addition, all of the strategies previously listed – picking up the forms, using paperless forms or using a trusted person to complete the form – will be available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The ABS have also committed to producing translated materials in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages which will be available on the “ABS website, pick up locations and distributed through existing networks. Information messages and advertising will be communicated in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander media.”

I’m currently homeless and don’t have a postal address. How do I vote?

Similar to remote or rural voters, if you are currently experiencing homelessness, you will have access to form pickup centres, the ability to use a trusted person to fill out your form for you or can contact the ABS Information Line on 1800 572 113, to complete the survey form directly via the automated phone service, online or via a call centre.

The ABS has also stated that they’ll be working with Homeless Service Providers to ensure that the survey information is relayed to them in regards to how they can participate.

Does my vote still count if I draw a dick on the response form?

Interestingly, Alice Workman at BuzzFeed News asked this question of the ABS and was met with a resounding ‘Yes’. You can draw a dick or whale or unicorn or anything you want on your ballot paper, as long as there is a clearly legible mark in the ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ box. The form becomes invalid if there is no clearly legible mark in either box.

The ABS have clearly stated that “The survey envelope is designated to be for the survey response only and is not a channel for correspondence, complaints or other communication. Any extraneous material inserted in the envelope with the survey form will be destroyed and, due to processing machinery or possible contamination, may result in the survey form also being destroyed and therefore not processed.”

Therefore, if you place anything else in the envelope, there is a chance that your vote will be marked as invalid.

I don’t want to vote. Do I have to vote?

You don’t have to vote and, unlike an election or a referendum, you will not be fined if you do not participate. If you do not want to vote, the ABS recommends you tear your survey form into two or more pieces and dispose of it.

Why are we voting via post?

That’s a good question that no member of the Coalition has given a good answer to.

How much is the same-sex marriage survey going to cost?

It is estimated that the maximum cost will be $122 million.

When will we know the result of the postal survey?

The ABS have announced that they will release the result of the postal survey on November 15th.

You may have heard that the ABS will be publishing the results of the survey with a ‘participation rate’ by age and gender for each electoral division, state/territory and national. The ABS will obtain this information from the electoral roll. However, the answer to the central question of the survey will remain anonymous.

Will the ABS be collecting my personal information?

The ABS will be taking your information from the electoral roll, but your identity will not be linked to your response. While there will be a barcode assigned to you, the ABS states that this is ‘a single-use, anonymous code.’ Moreover, the ABS also states that ‘No person who sees or has any access to any completed forms will know both the name of eligible Australians and the related single-use code.’

The collection of information is governed by the Census and Statistics Act 1905 . In regards to privacy and secrecy there are two pertinent sections.

Section 13 (3) states “Information of a personal or domestic nature relating to a person shall not be disclosed in accordance with a determination in a manner that is likely to enable the identification of that person.” As such, it is against the law for the postal survey to later enable the reveal of an individual’s identity.

Section 19 of the Act relates to the secrecy of information and the penalties applied to those who divulge any of the collected information.

Within 60 days of publication of the postal survey results (January 14th, 2018), all completed survey material will be destroyed.

Australian Marriage Equality Vote: Everything You Need To Know [Updated]Image: Getty Images

What happens if the survey returns a YES vote?

Nothing, officially. The result of the postal survey is non-binding and the Australian Government is not legally bound to make same-sex marriage legal. However, Senator Matthias Cormann stated that the Government will allow a private member’s bill to be introduced to Parliament and will facilitate a ‘free vote’ or ‘conscience vote’, where politicians will be allowed to vote based on personal preference rather than party lines, on whether same-sex marriage should be legalised. This is also backed by Malcolm Turnbull.

Do we know the contents of the proposed private member’s bill?

We don’t, but George Brandis said on ABC’s Lateline on August 14th that the draft bill currently in question is Senator Dean Smith’s private member’s bill.

What happens if the survey returns a NO vote?

Nothing, officially. If the results of the postal survey show that Australians do not support a change in the law to allow same-sex couples to marry, then there will not be any vote in Parliament.

Why should I vote if it’s not even legally binding?

While the postal survey cannot change the law like a referendum would, it appears this is the government’s way of gauging public support for the issue. There are problems with this, of course, and routinely, the Australian public have shown their support for same-sex marriage, but this is like giving that opinion a government stamp of approval.

If you’re voting ‘YES’ and believe same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, it will pave the way for a conscience vote in the Parliament that may give them that right. The government does not legally have to introduce a private member’s bill if the result of the postal survey shows that the majority of Australians voted ‘YES’, but the government has continually acknowledged that they will.

If you’re voting ‘NO’, and don’t believe same-sex couple should be allowed to marry, you will have your voice heard and be informing the Australian government that you believe marriage should remain between a man and a woman.

Will we even get to vote? I’ve heard that the legitimacy of a postal survey is being challenged in the High Court?

Yes, we definitely will. Two High Court challenges were heard on September 5 and September 6, in which two marriage equality advocacy groups argued against the legitimacy and legality of the postal survey.

On September 7, the full bench of the High Court ruled in favour of the Government, who were the defendants in the case.

Thus, from September 12, postal survey response forms began to be mailed out to all of those who were on the electoral roll before August 24. There can be no more appeals.

Same-Sex Marriage: The High Court Challenges Explained

The Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey is supposed to begin on September 12 but prior to that the High Court of Australia will hear two challenges that are looking to stop the postal survey from taking place on the grounds that it is unlawful. This means that, come September 12, we may not be receiving postal survey forms at all. It’s all slightly confusing, so here's everything we know about the High Court challenges.

Read more

How are you voting?

Me? I don’t believe that it should matter how I’m voting. I’m not a part of Australia’s LGBTI community. The vast majority of people that will discuss the postal survey and its implications are not members of the LGBTI community, and yet if the postal survey goes ahead, it will be them who get to make the decision on the rights of same-sex couples.

What I will suggest doing is ingesting as much information as you can and making an informed decision before you send your mail back later this year. And you definitely should send your mail back. Don’t boycott the vote. You have a chance to be heard.

And be careful of the hyperbole and political posturing and remember the central question.

We are voting on whether or not we believe same-sex couple should be allowed to wed.

But if you really must know, I’ve created the video below:


  • The current wording of the question is geared more to a no vote, as people don’t like change:

    Do you support a change in the law to allow same-sex couples to marry?

    Instead, a less biased version of the question is:

    Do you support a law to allow same-sex couples to marry?

    • Except a new law won’t be made to allow SSM, what will happen is the law saying marriage is only between a man and a woman will be changed back to it’s pre-2004 form.

      Additionally if SSM is voted on during the Liberal term, then it’s likely that a second law will also be changed so people performing ceremonies won’t be forced to perform marriages they object to.

      Labor have said that when they gain office there will be a free vote anyway, even if this survey returns no, but the indications given is that a vote under a Labor government would have very different protections for Clergy.

      • Labor only give a free vote during this current term of government (there are 9-10 Labor MPs who currently oppose SSM) – if Labor gain office, then there is no free vote allowed because ALL Labor MPs must vote yes to SSM. The talk by Labor now that there should be a free vote is rather a nonsense when they won’t allow a free vote in the next term of Government….haha. Even if Labor wins government, who says that the Senate will pass their SSM bill?….it might be a Conservative controlled Senate basically creating the opposite situation to the current parliament makeup.

    • Firstly, it *is* a change of law – there is no getting around that.

      Secondly, who says “people don’t like change” – there is an abundance of evidence to the contrary, including the fact that SSM is being considered.

      Personally, I have no investment in change whatsoever and prefer to consider the substance of the proposition at hand, whether it be for change or stasis.

    • Does this move to change the marriage laws mean that biological brothers and or step brothers, father and son, grandfather and grandson etc will also be allowed to marry?

    • It’s a change to existing law, why ignore it? I would argue that your wording is biased towards yes.

      Statisticians spend a lot of time wording polls to get accurate data.

    • The current method and wording is designed to elicit a no vote.

      A postal vote is a godsend for the “no” campaign since it targets older, more conservative voters than an in-person vote. (ie. It’s much more likely to under-represent young people, people travelling, people moving between addresses etc. – traditionally less conservative voters)

      This was done to try to blackmail the senate (who lean in favour of a yes outcome) into allowing a proper non-binding plebiscite on the issue, conducted by the AEC and using polling booths. However, the senate had none of it, and the LNP made good on their blackmail by going ahead with the current plan which was deemed to be within their power by the high court.

      But bringing this up now is like crying over spilt milk. Just vote and make sure all your friends vote.

  • ‘Do you support a law’ – can be read as ‘do you support a future active law’ (that’s already been changed).

    Removing the word ‘change’ from the question is important as it has a subtle Pavlovian negative indicator (e.g ‘change the channel!’, ‘change your clothes!’, ‘change the nappy!’).

    • The homosexual activists made sure that the wording included a “change to the law” so that the current Marriage Act is changed – without the word “changed”, there can be another separate law made up just for homosexual marriages and the current Marriage Act could stay the same thereby achieving no progress by the SSM crowd who want their homosexuality to look “equal” with heterosexuality. Homosexuals can already have legal equality as civil unions, but not using the word “marriage”, so they are fighting for the word “marriage” to include them. If there was a separate law for homosexual marriages, they would continue to shout inequality and discrimination – they ONLY want the heterosexual marriage which, of course, isn’t possible unless (sorry to state the obvious) your are heterosexual. Any other use of the word “marriage” is a completely different meaning, purpose and function….so if SSM becomes legal, the homosexual activists destroy what they want by getting what they want.

      • “They” only want their relationships to be treated in exactly the same way as everybody else. Its not about a “heterosexual” marriage, its about these relationships not being seen as different. In the end its all about two consenting adults who love each other, who cares what those two adults are? I don’t see how two people getting married affects anybody else?

        • Homosexuals already have their relationships treated exactly the same way as everyone else and using the word “marriage” is of no practical consequence – the idea that using the word “marriage” as simply a label to make homosexuality look “equal”, defies biology because an opposite relationship is biologically different to a same sex relationship no matter how much you use words to give a perception of “equality”. For homosexuals use an exclusively heterosexual word like “marriage” to create the perception of equality is no different than if they started demanding “equal rights” to use the word “heterosexual” to describe their relationships – the two don’t mix and the words are rendered useless to try and do so. This is why SSM turns marriage into a superficial word for a government registry and nothing more.

          By the way, the function of my marriage isn’t affected no matter if “marriage” is redefined or not, but like any other word that is redefined, we say something different if we change the definition of a word… if the word “marriage” is redefined to include same sex relationships based solely on emotional love/lust/romance/sex-based relationships instead of the forever-old meaning of biological heterosexual parenthood marriage, then every time I use the word “marriage” to describe my relationship with my wife, I am saying something different.

          I also lose my identity as a man-woman relationship when I use the word marriage because it no longer is exclusively heterosexual but becomes “2 consenting adults who love each other” which, by the way, should include a whole lot more than just same sex relationships (such as incest, polygamy, sologamy, etc relationships) if that was all marriage becomes. And what about all the arranged marriages?…if they have no love involved, then are they outlawed based on your idea of marriage?…if not, then you need to drop the “who are in love” part.

          Both the definition and identity of my relationship with my wife is lost if marriage is changed. So redefining marriage does affect me and it everyone else who uses the word “marriage”. It restructures the idea of marriage as a family-building word (whether children are involved or not) to a superficial “who I am having love/lust/sex/romance” word. The “Marriage Equality” slogan is a propaganda slogan.

          • You are making a larger number of assumptions that are not facts. For example, if a same-sex couple have children – for example, two women, where one of those women is the birth mother – and that birth mother dies, the surviving partner can have those children taken from her by the birth mother’s family. This has happened on multiple documented occasions. Also, the family can exclude the partner from the funeral of the loved one, and – potential – from seeing the partner in hospital while they are sick. If they were legally married, the partner would have the same legal rights as you and me.

            Another example: A same-sex couple has a home and business together. One partner dies. If the deceased partner is relatively young and does not have a clear will, the family can also claim half that home and business. This happened to someone I know, and the surviving partner ended up with no home and was forced to sell the business. If they had been legally married, the property would have defaulted to him due to the marriage.

            I can give many more examples. The assumption that a defacto same-sex couple already have the rights of a married couple without needing the word “marriage” is simply anti-marriage equality propaganda.

          • I’m glad you bring this up. ie the real reason behind the push for legality of SSM. These issues occur with many people – ie those who are not legally married to the person whom they wish to protect or be protected by.
            eg Someone is legally married, yet estranged, and now living with a new partner: their current partner has no right to be informed if they are in an accident and taken to hospital.
            Someone has no family member they trust: they cannot nominate whomever *they* want as a carer (or to take care of their children, etc). If they nominate a good friend with whom they have shared a house for 20 years, a hospital will still not disclose any information to that person. But if the patient’s mother were to call, she’d be told everything, despite being estranged from their child for 20 years.
            There are any number of scenarios where these “rights” are being denied people, purely because they are not a legal family member. We’ve all seen cases which are unfair. What is legal is not the same as what is moral.
            Unfortunately they are not simply going to be resolved by allowing SSM. Oh sure it might help a few gay couples who choose to get their piece of paper, but what about the rest of us?
            It can often take upward of 2 years for a separated couple to be recognised as divorced. It can take a huge amount of angst and legal costs to disallow a family member to not interfere in your life. It can take more than that to nominate a friend as a legal guardian for your children. Even if your heterosexual partner were to die with what was thought to be a watertight will, it can still be contested. This is the real crime: that nothing you do or say or write in stone is 100% certain. If you die or are unable to make decisions, anything you put in place before can be vetoed.
            And this is when people do actively pursue every legal angle. What about all those who don’t? Most of just assume that everything will be AOK.
            Wouldn’t it be better if we could discuss and solve the real problems for everyone instead of pretending that SSM is the solution for a few? Few of these issues have been resolved in other countries who have brought in SSM. What makes people think it will magically happen here?

          • If your marriage would be lost due to SSM being made legal your marriage must not have been that good in the first place. In fact i think your wife would be better off without someone like you whos marriage is so fickle that a loving same sex couple would ruin it. I feel sorry for your wife.

          • A good example of how bigoted, narrow minded and hurtful statements come from both sides of this debate.

          • Calling out his idiotic argument is not bigoted. The only hurtful ones here are the “No” side of this debate. They have no factual or logical reasons to be against gay marriage other than Inate homophobia. You are in the minority Silkwood. You are no different to those who campaigned against giving women the right to vote. The two sides of this debate are not equal.

            The yes side wants to give a section of society the right to marry.

            The no side wants to deny it due to homophobia and religous beliefs.

            Thats all it is.

            If you dont agree with gay marriage. Dont have one. Let those sam sex couples have a marriage. Two people getting married does not affect you AT ALL.

          • What the bulk or “pro” people fail to realise is the self discrimination apparent in their use of the word “gay” in front of the word marriage. They acknowledge with that nomenclature that it is not the same, knowingly or otherwise; if otherwise suggesting lack of forethought about the whole subject and if not, then ulterior motives are suggested. Hetero couples do not have a “hetero” marriage because marriage is defined as it is, a union between a man and a woman. That the idea of SSM is NOT supported by the vast majority of the populace despite protestations to the contrary was reinforced by the oppositions unwillingness to put it to the public vote. This is a vote for the people, not our elected representatives. Their conscience is not mine nor do I assign my rights in this case. If the pro party is so sure of themselves, leave the petty diatribe about homophobia, etc. in the bin where it belongs. It makes you look stupid. Man up and accept majority rules, the nature of democracy.

          • You have absolutely no idea how I am going to vote on this issue. The fact you have not only jumped to a conclusion but can be aggressively judgemental towards me simply prove my original point. My homosexual friends (with whom I am discussed the issue for many years) would be amused at your illogical reference to homophobia. All this shows is the limited, narrow viewpoint you have and the resulting illogical, biased and ill-informed ranting you use as argument.

          • Because Neil Aitchison failed to disclose this:
            He is a Baptist Minister and South Australian “Independent” candidate who achieved a total of 637 votes in the seat of Sturt in the 2016 Federal Election.

            Just for comparison, there were 3656 “informal votes” in the Sturt area.

            He is a frequent commentator on Same Sex Marriage, posting on, Crikey, Mumbrella, and so forth.

            Neil, mate, maybe you should spend more time with your wife and demonstrating your commitment to the sanctity of marriage instead of hanging out on websites at 2:37 am…

          • Marriage is a union. Marriage means ‘coming together’… Even dating someone is a marriage of sorts. Are you really trying to argue that the word ‘marriage’ is exclusively used for a man and women?

            In Australia, before 2004, there was no definition of marriage being between man and women. Traditionally/religiously marriage was always between a man and women, but this doesn’t suggest that the WORD marriage is discriminatory, rather, society.

            Women didn’t have the right the vote. When they did, we didn’t call it women’s voting, as men had already claimed the word voting.

            Voting is an act, marriage is an act.

            Reading the rest of the paragraph was exhausting. You have a definition of Marriage that YOU have created. You know very well, when SSM is enacted into law, it won’t change your relationship with your wife. Your definition won’t change. Just as Christian Marriage has a very different meaning to Secular Marriage.

      • Civil unions are not equal to marriage in immigration law and as we saw recently in South Australia when a married same-sex couple were on holidays, and one died, in funeral laws.

        • Considering that not all marriages performed overseas are recognised in Australia, marriage isn’t necessarily equal to marriage in terms of immigration law.

      • The old separate but equal argument. The very same argument people used to support black segregation in America. You argument is dimwitted. You don’t own marriage. You don’t get to decide who gets married.

        • You don’t get to decide who gets married.

          That’s right. The 76 Senators, and 150 MPs are the ones who decide who can get married. Actually, since all that needs to happen to change it is a majority in both houses, 38 Senators and 76 MPs, 114 people total, decide who can get married, where they can get married, how they can get married, when they can get married, who can perform the marriage, and what legal benefits they are granted due to the marriage.

          • Your reply is as dimwitted as Neil Aitchison’s. By all means provide some factual information disproving what i have said.

    • In fact, it is a survey. It’s not a plebiscite, referendum or vote. The sceptical part of me says making it survey is the government’s “get out of jail” card if they don’t get the answer they want.

        • Except that a resounding “no” result because the “yes” side are boycotting it will result in the government saying “See, the majority don’t want it. No changes to the marriage law during this term of government.”

        • Actually, I respectfully disagree. Elections are won by the team that shows up. If you want a yes vote – vote yes. If enough people don’t vote, the government could (and I think they would be reasonable if they did this ) say not enough people care so we’ll leave it as it is.

          Not voting tells the government it’s not a big deal.

          Voting matters.

          • In the age of anti-social media I think the population can make it clear to the government why nobody voted.

          • About 55% of voters, voted in the recent US election. 46% of these voted for Donald Trump.
            The US president was selected based on the opinion of a little over 25% of eligible US voters.

            This is a good chance for people to voice their opinion in a way that the government is going to listen to, that can’t be accused of having the respondents cherry picked, and numbers large enough that it can’t be called a “small survey”.

            Use it.

          • I am talking about next to nobody voted like 1%.

            Anyway there is nothing to say that trump would not have won if voting in the USA was compulsory.

          • You cannot be serious. The government is asking for your opinion directly via a formal survey and you think the best course of action is to ignore it and rely on social media to communicate your position? Wow, you really have your head in the sand.

            If you don’t vote yes your opinion is not going to be counted in any way, shape or form. The folks at the ABS aren’t going to track down your social media account to see what you really think about the issue.

        • i don’t think that’s true at all, if the vote is a resounding yes it’s a massive pain in the arse for the people who decided this farce was a good idea

          • they don’t have to change it but it makes them look very very bad, shorten can basically beat them over the head with it till the next election

          • “…… if the vote is a resounding yes it’s a massive pain in the arse …….” now there’s a statement you need to be careful about using in public!
            I still find it very difficult to see a couple of men kissing in public. I just can’t watch it. What happened to tact & discretion? I wish the whole sorry debate was over & the issue closed one way or another.

        • No. If u support a change for equality, vote for equality. Don’t expect others to try for what u think is right. U have 1 vote. That is all. Don’t waste it expecting the rest of us represent you. Imagine if the no vote won. How would you feel about that? Not attempting smart-assery, just a point.

  • The most offensive thing: Due to the 2004 marriage act amendment – which was decided without a “plebiscite” or a “postal vote” – the following phrase *must* be included in our wedding later this year, despite the fact that it is a non-religious, civil union:

    “marriage means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others”.

    If we refuse to include this phrase, we cannot get married. Before 2004, this was not forced on couples. The religious right within the LNP added this amendment in order to force their archaic, bigoted values onto everyone else.

    Next time someone tells you that the LNP is the party of “freedom”, use the 2004 marriage act amendment to demonstrate that this is the biggest lie of all.

    • The Marriage Act was changed in 2004 with bi-partisan support. Both parties wanted the change and there was little debate from the major parties. I note that the leaders of the LNP, Labor and Greens are all planning to vote Yes.

    • Our celebrant covered the mic so only my wife and I heard the legal bit. To show you how offensive it can be, my wife and I were both raised by lesbian couples so our family photo had four mums in it ie two from each side of the family. Our parents, who can’t get married, weren’t going to hear that part of the marriage act. It was actually the celebrant who initially objected to it as she was pro-ssm and happily disclosed that when we went to chat with her.

    • I explained in the article that the AEC definitely clarified that those who are ‘provisionally’ enrolled – ie 16 and 17 year olds – will not have their information forwarded to the ABS and thus won’t take part in the survey.

  • This whole postal survey and the horrible things I hear the no campaign slandering me with are really cutting deep. It’s making me lose faith in Australia, I feel depressed and suicidal every time I hear their horrible comments. I wish this would just end.

  • Unfortunately there will be entrenched bias (even unrecognised) in all sections debating this issue. I take particular note of the last two statements in this article. The first – ” We are voting on whether or not we believe same-sex couple should be allowed to wed.” is mostly correct (though we are not voting, merely adding an opinion via what is essentially a survey).

    The second- “This postal survey is a vote for the rights of same-sex couples in Australia.” is entirely untrue and simply an example of an opinion put forward as fact. There is no “right” here, we are simply discussing whether we believe this change should come about. There are numerous alternatives to SSM, including closing the (few) loopholes surrounding existing civil unions. Changing the accepted definition of marriage (that is what we are doing, the 2004 change means we also have to change the legislation, the accepted definition pre-dating that was always exclusively between a man and a woman) is a choice we are making because we feel it is fair and reasonable, but let’s not start calling it a right.

    Whether you vote yes or no, please try and observe your own biases and contradictions, the damage to those who strongly feel for either side can be significant.

    • There is no damage to the “No” side. They lose nothing. If they dont like gay marriage they should not have one. They have no right to deny a couple who loves each other the ability to get married because of their false beliefs of a book written by lunatic men. Religion does not own marriage, Religion stole marriage so they could control the masses. Marriage predates all religions. There is no alternative, The alternatives you want are only to suit your inner homophobia because the bible says gays are lower humans than you. You want to follow the teachings of the bible? Fine, you are more than welcome to. But the rest of us who dont should not have to live by your religous rules.

      • may I please ask where you draw the line then ?
        should there be no limits to anyone of legal age marrying anyone or any amount of people they please as long as they love each other ?

  • I dont agree with marriage equality and aswell as transgender but there is nothing i can do to stop it from happening legally going through by Voting soon,but now im going to accept this the one thing i do not like is the too much media over publicising these things, i think the LGBT community that is voting for this have what they wanted they getting too much media publicity that is just coming from me because i am a straight man sometimes it bothers me seeing media people and others comments on this things when they dont need to be commented on thats all i got to say

  • i message from a gay person on this site saying he was going to vote no to gay marriage, I felt this strange but happy some feel the same with somebody gay sexual preferences that is going to vote for the same as me?

    • I loged on to this site to let people know my veiws on gay marrige and how i’m going to cope with it in the new age ,even though i don’t agree with it ,but every body has a right to opinion,I thought i could comunicate with people and if thay disagreed with something i said thay would put a message on civil adultly way of talking,None of my messages have abusive language ,but i’v been geting abusive reply’s,IF this is people message objetive veiws I’ll log off this site?

      • No one has replie to your comments. And you cant private message anyone on here. So its impossible you have recieved anything as a result of commenting on here.

  • Therefore, if you place anything else in the envelope, there is a chance that your vote will be marked as invalid.

    I’m very worried about this. A lot of my friends are joking and laughing about how they are going to fill their envelopes with glitter. I try to tell them that might invalidate their vote and they just laugh it off.

    Is this really something to worry about or am I just being paranoid?

    • Don’t worry about it. The idea is great for sharing on Facebook but I doubt any of your friends will actually bother to go out and buy glitter. It shouldn’t matter even if they do. This is either going to be a landslide or it’ll be so close it that it can be used as an excuse to delay it.

  • Sorry in advance for a long comment. Its a complex issue and I have a lot on my mind.

    I’m really perturbed about this issue. Personally, as an Aussie born female who is straight and an atheist – I have nothing against same-sex marriage. I don’t think there is anything ‘wrong’ with it at all.

    But I have a number of problems right now, with the whole marriage equality issue and I’m left feeling torn, given I plan to vote next month and desperately need to make a decision either way.

    If it were up to me, any two competent, mentally sound adults would be allowed to marry. Being gay is just a sexual preference. I don’t care what someone prefers or needs in the bedroom – as long as everyone is over 18 and its consensual. I simply do not want to know, nor do I need to know, what someone’s tastes are, in the sack. I don’t wear my sexual preferences on my sleeve, I don’t expect nor want anyone else to do the same.

    All that being said. There has been very very little in the way of reasoned debate and discussion on this topic, since day one. Hyperbole and hysterical emotion has ruled the day, with anyone on the Yes side throwing up an outright barrage of emotive, often hyperbolic statements (such as Magda Szubanski this morning on the Today Show declaring that ‘it’ll literally kill kids if we don’t see SSM in Australia’) and shrieking insults at anyone who does not agree with them, labeling anyone with a differing view as a ‘bigot’ or a ‘homophobe’, or snarling that its none of their business anyway and they should just put up with it. Well, democracy doesn’t work that way, you can’t just tell someone to put up with it, when they have an equal right as yourself, to having a say.

    There are reasoned and logical arguments for both sides on this debate. Emotive arguments are unnecessary and utterly unhelpful, for both sides.

    First and foremost, any gay couple absolutely deserves the right to a legally recognized union in the event of separation or death. This is the prime argument for marriage equality and one that is nearly impossible to counter. Providing people of same sex relationships with a legally recognized union that awards them the full legal rights under the law, as any traditionally married straight couple enjoys, is pretty much inarguable in this day and age.

    The problem is, the answer to this is to provide some kind of equivalent legal union for people of same sex relationships. Like a kind of civil union that offers the same rights and responsibilities and protections for the couple that marriage does for any couple married.

    That would have sorted this whole mess out, years ago. But it was steadfastly and adamantly refused by the Yes crowd, under the argument of it not being fair – they wanted the full change to the Marriage Act, instead. That obstinancy and determination as their actions, have ultimately caused the consequences they are suffering now – which is year after year of being refused marriage equality and now having to deal with a postal vote.

    Whether the Yes crowd like it or not, there are some genuine (and not so genuine) arguments being raised by the No side. Personally, as an atheist, I have little time for any religious theology- especially when used as a reason to decline marriage equality. However, I reluctantly recognize that our civilization (and all the benefits it provides us all) comes from Judaeo-Christian religious beliefs. And frankly, I demand the right to be respected in my views of Atheism, so really, I have to offer the same respect to any Christian or Jew etc, for their religious beliefs. I accept that. Much the same as the gay community wanting respect for their sexual preferences, really. You cannot demand respect without giving it in return, in our culture.

    So, like it or not, most religions are pretty anti-gay marriage. Being gay full stop, is a cardinal sin in these religions, one of the biggest No-No’s around. Combine that with altering the Marriage Act, given how sacred, marriage is viewed within most religions – and this is a gigantic moral and ethical issue for anyone with strong religious beliefs. Whether you agree with their beliefs or not is beside the point. Our civilization, which allows people to be gay in this day and age without repercussion, also allows people to believe in their own religion, without dispute or judgement.

    Yet again – the workaround compromise here for everyone concerned, would have been an equally recognized civil union of some sort.

    Another issue is the whole ‘slippery slope’ argument. Now you can roll your eyes on this one all you like, but there is not only precedent for it; but evidence of future problems arising as a result of enabling marriage equality.

    Keysar Trad – the official spokesperson for the Australian Islamic community has on at least 2 separate occasions in formal statement’s, this year alone; that if gay marriage were to go ahead, then there’s no reason why polygamy can’t be legalized next. Technically, he’s spot on. I can’t technically argue with it. But I hate it. I hate it with a deep and abiding passion and I utterly, point-blank refuse to see polygamy, especially religious polygamy legalized in my culture. But the argument is undeniably there, if the Marriage Act an our culture can be successfully altered to allow marriage equality. Polygamy after all, is just arguably, an extension on ‘marriage equality’.

    The precedent comes in with the example of female emancipation. Now, as a female in the West – I certainly will never complain about women’s rights and the emancipation of my gender. It has ensured me, access to a life and to rights and obligations in my culture and nation that benefit me tremendously. But look at where the rights of women are today, in 2017. And the vast, undeniable, fundamental changes to our civilization overall, as a result of female emancipation. It has been, without hyperbole, groundbreaking.

    Imagine going back in time and showing the men of the early 1900s, what would happen to the West, as a result of them begrudgingly allowing women the right to vote. Frankly, most of the men from back then, especially the Politician’s and the Elite’s would probably have a total mind-bending conniption over seeing what changes were wrought on society as a result.

    That is not to say that female emancipation is a bad thing. And its not to say its a good thing, in this context. It simply is what it is. So many people – HALF the population straightaway, have benefited immensely. Men have benefited immensely too. But some of the changes wrought by emancipation have had some serious consequences for our overall society.

    Gay marriage may not be as ground-shaking. But it will sow the seeds of change as well. What will the consequences be? I note that there hasn’t been any real discussion regarding this. Shrieking ‘bigot’ or ‘homophobe’ at someone, isn’t going to resolve this unknown. And just because its unknown, doesn’t mean we need to shy away in trepidation from making the change, either.

    We just need debate. Calm, reasoned, logical, mature discussion and communication. And we’ve had none of it. We’re supposed to be mature adults and yet we shriek insults and babble fearful propaganda – from both sides – like schoolchildren.

    So I’m terribly torn right now. I feel sick at the idea of voting No and potentially contributing to denying gay couples’ the right to a legal union on par with marriage, the same as any straight couple. Who am I to say no to that?

    But I’m looking ahead to the consequences and also to the bigger picture. And there are two things I am firmly set on; firstly I have absolutely no tolerance for the traditions of ‘marriage’ be they what they are, being so badly abused and warped, down the line, to allow polygamy or some other corruption of what marriage currently is recognized as and secondly; I am greatly, deeply concerned at the emotional hysteria and complete lack of communication and willingness to compromise here, from the Yes side.

    We could’ve resolved this years ago with a fair compromise. They effectively, threw a huge tantrum and disallowed that. Anyone who doesn’t sing their exact same tune, is insulted and silenced today. That does not bode well for the future.

    I do not have any tolerance for anyone attempting to hold me hostage to their demands in that way. Do not tell me that by voting Yes or No, I will be responsible for children committing suicide, or otherwise mentally sound adult human beings being thrown into pits of depressive despair. I do not negotiate with that kind of onslaught and I shouldn’t be expected to. If children and adults were genuinely at risk of committing suicide, or spiraling into terrible depression etc as a result – then the clear lesson here is that we have failed as a society in teaching people basic resilience. Not that we should automatically give in to their shrieking demands.

    • “Our civilization, which allows people to be gay in this day and age without repercussion” – WTF???? Allows??? You have to be kidding. Being Gay is never a “preference” it is who you are as a person.

      This boils down to one thing – every citizen of Australia should have the same rights as every other citizen of Australia. The discussion shouldn’t even be about SSM, it should be Any Citizen’s Right to Marriage. You cannot expect a group of people to pay the same taxes as everyone else and then say but you don’t get the same rights just because that’s how it’s always been or because some ignorant bigots won’t like it.

      Personally I don’t believe in Marriage for anyone – it is outdated and with so many marriages failing it is becoming meaningless but I will tick YES on this instrument of torture from the religious right wing of this gutless, worthless government.

      I will be voting YES because every citizen deserves the same rights.

      • Oh calm down – I’m not denigrating anyone who is gay, or the reality of some people being gay. I too, believe that you’re born that way, its not a choice – when I say that our civilization allows people to be gay without repercussion, I’m referring to the fact that we accept people for being gay – we accept that they cannot ‘help it’ that its normal and nothing to be ashamed of. Its just a sexual preference. There are still many places on this planet where being gay is a criminal act. In some places – its a death sentence. Its not here, thankfully – and this is what I’m referring to.

        I made damn sure in my comment that I wrote something that was honest but still respectful to anyone it may impact or anyone who may read the comment – so seriously, calm down.

        I’ve said the SAME thing that you have just said. I’m not quibbling over people’s rights to same sex marriage – I’m all for it. I’m worried about social repercussions and long term consequences.

        And I’m also concerned by the hyperbole displayed by the Yes crowd. As I said, it doesn’t bode well for the future, if this is the attitude to be taken now on this specific issue. And its that attitude that you yourself have just displayed in your response to me.

        I wish you well, I’m glad you’re voting Yes. As for me, I’m still torn – and nothing you’ve said, to be honest, has helped me settle what I’m worrying over – which is the whole reason for me to write my comment to begin with. To start a calm discussion. What you have shown – its just more of the same anger and emotion – and I note, the labeling of ‘ignorant bigot’.

        • I think you’re overthinking… “I’m worried about social repercussions and long term consequences.” Things like divorce, pornography would be more of a concern. We’re talking about marriage. The idea of Marriage is to bind people together. It’s about love. Strengthening families is a good thing.

          Long term consequence is gays will get married. Gays are already living together, having kids. The Family Law Act already recognises SS relationships.

          • How are gays having kids exactly ? That’s the one thing they cannot do.

            Which is why the laws will eventually be changed to remove natural (biological) parents from the child’s remit.

      • bertieau @bertieau Awesome bertieau thanks “This boils down to one thing – every citizen of Australia should have the same rights as every other citizen of Australia.” this means I can now have the same rights as an indigenous Australian by your logic, or a judge, or a train driver, or a policeman, or a disabled person….the list go’s on. what an idiotic blind view. segregation of ideals and beliefs is a very necessary part of a free democratic society. without it there is anarchy and the weak and underprivileged amongst us are just forgotten and tromped into the dirt. think about what you wish for….be logical…and calm.
        sarah_downunder @sarah_downunder credit to your post I felt it is thought provoking.

    • @sarah_downunder what an exceptional comment which is the best summary of our current predicament on this issue that I have read for a long time! Agree with many of your well considered and observed points.

    • Thanks for typing this up.. It highlights the despair that I have for our society – where screaming the loudest has taken the place of reasonable, civilised conversation.

    • I’m sorry but I think you are overthinking this. Either we afford same sex relationships the same legal rights, acknowledgement and dignity as heterosexual relationships or we don’t.

      If you think we should then vote yes, if you think we shouldn’t then vote no. Society is always going to change and develop over time. I don’t think we should actively work to prevent one change from happening because we are fearful other changes might come about in the future. This is going to happen no matter what we do. When homosexuality was starting to become legal there were those that argued that this could lead to bestiality or pedophilia becoming acceptable as a result. This has not happened and I don’t think that legalisation of polygamy is going to be any more likely if we were to give same sex couples the right to marry. These are very two different things, even if they involve marriage.

      Western civilisation has its roots in Ancient Greece (where homosexuality was openly accepted) and although the church has contributed to our existing society in positive ways it has also held us back in many cases and a lot of the freedoms we value so much in the present day have come about in spite of the church, not because of it. Either way I don’t think that religious doctrine should be determining what is and isn’t Australian law.

      I don’t think having a separate system for legally recognising same sex relationships is any type of solution either. If anything that would just serve to alienate the LGBT community even further. It’s patronising and just serves to ‘other’ them. It’s like saying, ‘yeah we recognise your relationship, we just don’t see it as being equal to ours’.

    • slippery slope is noted as one of the major logical fallacies, do you really think the people who vote yes on gay marriage will suddenly be ok with marrying animals or something? do you think if gay marriage is allowed that suddenly every type of union will be a simply allowed into law without any type of noise from the australian public at large? the entire premise is ridiculous.

      i like the way you buried female emancipation as possibly being a bad thing way down in your wall of text though.

    • Although I feel tremendous repugnance against multiple of your arguments, I must applaud you for comunicating them in a calm, reasoned, logical, mature (and understandable) manner. Especially, you did a good job at logically explaining the No-side’s perspective. But as a person who personally would like very much to marry into a polygamous relationship, it feels like a stab in the stomach when someone dismisses polygamy in western countries (where we have, and will continue to have, laws that prohibit forced marriage) without explanation. As though it was intrinsically bad. The polygamous relationship I would be a part of would hardly be comparable to the abusive, forced marriages some girls in other parts of the world face. And I doubt any western country would vote in favor for those.
      Greetings from the other side of the earth! (Which means that I have a drastically different perspective 😉

  • First point, I really just think the question should be do we live in a FREE country?, I’ve been sing that anthem since Primary School Brainwashed in like a lot of things but the song Says ” Coz we are young and …” Express not Depress Marriage or Love just please ENJOY life coz it’s way too short!
    Second point, how the Truck is costing 122 million dollars just for the survey that’s a Crock of Nana’s Chocolate Pudding it’s all thru the post as well.
    Last Point, Can we Please do a similar survey on Legalizing Cannabis seems more important seeing that people are still going to Jail for it, “Coz We Aren’t Young and definately not FREE” but we can be…..

  • I’ m back again, I just think i know what might be happening on this subject ,this transgender and gay sexuality may be a phase that society is going though now ,BUT we may lose most of gay society in the next 100 yrs lifetime, Thats if humans don’t kill them self?,Thats just my opinion.

    • Let’s imagine your prediction is correct, so there are decreasing numbers of gay and transgender people over the next hundred years.

      That shouldn’t impact at all on the right of such people to marry, should it?

  • This change is a necessary stepping stone if I am ever to legally wed an adult service droid, or a coffee table or a bucket of chicken. I will vote yes for this because I want people to be happy and in love and have rights and be respected for their choices. When a plebiscite for AI rights and technological marriage equality comes around I’m sure we can count on the LGBT community for support.

  • I’v got another view on this set of subjets?,first human were recorded 200 000 yrs ago,thay were huters and gathers,the first recorded homosexual grave site,in egypt,dated back 4417 yrs ago?,that’s a long time human race not having homosexuality in mankind.It was berely know about in the seacond world war but since then it has slowly rose,in the last 40yrs homosexuaity has sharp rise and is each generation,I think this could make a problem for straight sex people and their children in the future ,being gay may be a medical sexual genetic mixup ,because haveing sex with the same genda is physicly dose not fit ,I can understand close best friends you can tell all to, of the same genda just not sex and marrige,I don’t wan’t to upset anyone ,this is just a point of view?.

    • Several thousand species on earth have homosexual members in their society such as penguins, bears and ducks among others. Only one species has homophobes. Which one seems more unnatural to you? BTW – your comment above is full of inaccuracies and falsehoods. We barely have complete skeletons from 200000 years ago….how do you tell that skeleton is not a gay member of a troop?

  • IT’s just me back,I’d like all people on this site to know the message i put on befor this 1 ealier,I ment to write same genda sex it physicaly not write,gay sex is possible!, today wasn’t ment to upset anyone!, I was voiceing a opion that i think might be true,So if anybody messages me about this all i ask is talk to me in a polite , adultly manner,I like to hear what the other sides views!.

  • Thanks for such an informative and impartial post, Jackson. It’s nice to get the facts without the emotion, though I understand it’s an emotional debate.

    I was wondering, if the postal survey goes ahead, and the results are a majority YES, and a private member’s bill is introduced and passed, how soon in reality would we see a change of law to allow same-sex couples to marry? Weeks? Months? A year?

  • 1 of the problems marriage equality that i have put on messages ealier are in the media ,on tv i was watching 7 sunrise news thay mentioned a tv commercial about fathers day was taken off the channel because of this marriage equality,the sunrise news people even thought it was wrong to be taken off, thay said most the population is hetosexual ,Thats why i think the media is over promoting this subjet and going to far ,thats my view.

    • Oh, Adam. Sunr7se is not the place to look for intelligent…anything. Ever. Funny, witty-maybe. Did they mention if the add featured 2 Dads? (Yes I mean a couple.)

  • equal rights to finanacial, family and legals should be recognised, infact centerlink which is a part of the federal goverment already recognises same sex relationships, as does the ato. the goverment needs to allows same sexers to have access to all the trappings normal people do. but sorry i have to vote no as the debate is not clear even to myself on why we are even having it. again the federal goverment and ita departments already recognise same sex relationships, just bring the rights up to equal. but gays cannot use the word marriage as it is between a man and a woman. just make up a new word. gays are good at lbgti-wed or something. its all made up

    • Try visiting a hospital as a gay-partner and being told “sorry, no, married couples only”
      Try dealing with superannuation/insurance company who say “sorry, not married, you aren’t a default beneficiary”
      The law should be changed to “It is illegal to discriminate any service or entitlement on the basis of ‘marital status'” – until then, allowing anyone to be married is the only acceptable compromise in a society that actually cares about its members

  • A few weeks ago I started off with the fairly simple and firm conviction that I would vote yes. However, recent discussions with friends and family where I was considered “mad” because I did have some concerns about the impact of children of same sex couples, made me angry that the proponents of the yes vote are taking the so called moral high ground and anyone questioning some of the issues is ridiculed. Now I am undecided and almost tempted not to participate in the survey. Interesting that this has happened with a lot of people and makes me question the sense and sensibility of the yes supporters who seem to be turning off a lot of people in my age group. Anyone else experienced the same swing?

    • Don’t be an idiot. Not responding to the survey will absolutely be considered by the government as voting No.

      And further, not responding will be taken by the government as a mandate to “do what they like whenever they like because no one cares”. They asked the voting public a question. Anyone who thinks not responding sends a message is an idiot. Unless the message they want to send is “I don’t give a shit about anything that doesn’t affect me directly”.

      In which case, be an honest bigot and pick No. Look long and hard at the No box you are ticking that screws up the lives of other people.

      You are *not* allowed the luxury of saying “well, I didn’t choose”. You are choosing regardless of what you do.

      If you choose NO, or choose not to respond to reply, you are responsible for bringing misery into the lives of others who were not bothering you in any way. Every morning as you look in the mirror, remind yourself of what kind of person you are.

  • There is a very contentious issue being debated at the moment its called same sex marriage, we maybe persuaded by the media blitz or being just progressively opened minded in this free country we live or have our own ideas, even revolting.
    i would just like to add my viewpoint to the interesting replies. it would be good to change the name from marriage to alternative relationships, having the same legal and financial requirements as the normal marriage. at the moment there is not enough information about the implications on this debate ,just for that it would be a no vote for me . as mentioned there is quite a number of other types o f relationships, like defacto relationships, and single parent families as well as husband/ wife marriage. it seems like the stigma for homosexuals may last for a long time, it is an attack on the fundamental basics of life, such as the family structure and in particular the safety of CHILDREN which may live in a promiscuous society, yes i know other marriage types does not guarantee child safety. i do not understand the thinking of the homosexual lobby, one thing i know there is nothing more beautiful than having a gorgeous woman by your side, i maybe biased. whether being gay is by the gene-pool or acquired through life experiences they will still exist whether it is a yes or no vote. they will not magically dis appeared after the vote.
    For the readers who are ignorant of God i would like to mention God really does LOVE us all because he created us all as equal human beings and gave his only son Jesus to the world to take away all the sins of the world, that we may live forever and be reconciled back to god’s love, you see God is about relationships. So to have no regrets, all you need to do is put aside your misconceptions and just believe, accept his mercy and free gift of grace. you see God wants you to come to him first before finding solace in your partner, yes even for heterosexual. love God first, the next command we were taught was to love one another and that even means the people we struggle to love. so hope this is not too confrontational
    A little story from Bob Hopes daughter. why is there so much destruction and violence in the world. usually a hard question to answer, but the answer is simple – the more God is pushed away from out of this world, remember God is good and loving, the more Satan has free range to do his evil desires. thanks for reading Steve. so a yes vote will not improve our society problems

    • Wow… another load of religious swaddle.

      “a yes vote will not improve our society problems” – for straight people who don’t care about the lives of non-straight people

      Fixed it for you.

  • Landlords/Institutions outcast Gays.
    All know they withhold mail…only now to rort [NO] vote 20 x over.
    Govt keeps mailing the Bullies more [NO] votes in junk mail ballot scam.

  • “but the reason the public are voting on it is because, like many developed nations, there has been a marked change in attitude towards same-sex marriage over the past decade and numerous calls to enact changes to the law that allow same-sex couples to be wed.”

    The reason the public are voting on it is because of division in the LNP cabinet, similar to that which induced the poorly constructed Brexit vote in the UK. The government in recent years has already had multiple senate enquiries with huge levels of submissions from the public. Wasting $122 million on repeat consultations is throwing away taxpayer money.

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