Same-sex marriage: Yes vote wins, Malcolm Turnbull wants change by Christmas

Same-sex marriage: Yes vote wins, Malcolm Turnbull wants change by Christmas, by Greg Brown.

Australians have voted Yes to same-sex marriage after 61.6 per cent of almost 13 million respondents backed the proposal in the $122m voluntary survey. Liberal senator Dean Smith is expected to introduce his bill in the Senate this afternoon to legalise SSM. However, conservatives are pushing for an alternative bill with far-reaching religious protections.

Former prime minister John Howard says the Dean Smith bill is not sufficient in protecting parental rights and the freedom of speech and religion.

But in a shot across the bows at senator James Paterson’s bill, Mr Howard said the debate should not “get hung up” on whether cake makers and florists should be allowed to conscientiously object to supplying their services to gay wedding.

Challenge for Turnbull is to ensure 4.8 million No voters aren’t ignored, by Dennis Shanahan.

The postal survey on same-sex marriage has been a success. It has delivered a clear result and given every eligible voter the chance to have their say.

The clear Yes vote provides clear guidance for the Parliament and a positive aid to Malcolm Turnbull.

Both Yes and No campaigners now have to realise that neither a winner-takes-all or a dog-in-the-manger attitude will be acceptable and that compromise on the legislation will be necessary to honour the result of the survey and the spirit in which it was conducted.

The extremely high response rate — 79.5 per cent — and the victory for Yes in every State and Territory as well as in an overwhelming majority of electorates gives an undeniable mandate to the Parliament to pass same-sex marriage legislation.

Australians send a firm message to politicians with Yes vote, by Chris Kenny.

The turnout for a voluntary survey was outstanding. With near enough to 80 per cent of eligible voters having their say, the result carries great legitimacy and it vindicates the persistence of Malcolm Turnbull in finding an innovative way to give people their say after Labor and the Greens blocked Tony Abbott’s plebiscite compromise. We can safely presume the 20 per cent who didn’t bother with the survey are phlegmatic about the issue.

Woe betide our political class if they now seek to complicate this task and bog themselves in more delay and posturing over the implementation. Voters are entitled to expect a minimalist implementation of this reform before Christmas. …

While we can understand how the debate was seen by gays as an intrusion — a public dissection — of their very being, it is understandable that Australians wanted to have direct input into such a major social reform. Their overwhelming message, despite dissent and misgivings, is a public embrace.

This is the Australia we all know. For all the understandable focus by media and activists on extreme views and their occasional nasty expression, this process was handled maturely and respectfully by the vast majority.