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Australians Have Spoken on Marriage

The Australian people have spoken and resolved that the law should be changed to allow same sex couples to marry.

It is now incumbent on the Australian Parliament to give effect to that decision by the Australian people.

Australians clearly embraced the opportunity to have their say as part of this process, with nearly 80 percent participating and having their voice counted. That is a record for a national voluntary postal survey or voting exercise.

Consistent with our commitment at the outset of this Marriage Law Postal Survey process, the Government will now facilitate consideration of a Private Member’s Bill through the Parliament.

Which Private Member’s Bill proceeds for consideration and in which form it is ultimately passed is now a matter for the Parliament.

Consistent with the Government’s commitment from the outset of this process, there will be no Government position or Coalition Party Room position on any such Private Member’s Bill. Now that the Australian people have spoken, every Coalition Member and Senator has a free vote in relation to a Private Member’s Bill to give effect to their decision.

As part of this process now, it will be incumbent on the Parliament over the next few weeks to determine the appropriate level of religious protections as part of implementing this reform to our marriage laws.

Overwhelmingly, Australians have participated in this process with courtesy and respect. There have been no complaints in the course of this process, which meet the test of vilification.

This has been a significant logistical undertaking exceptionally well delivered by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, supported principally by the Australian Electoral Commission, Australia Post, the Department of Human Services and the Department of Finance. Thank you to all those public service teams involved in this process.