‘Yes’ hopes for Australia gay marriage as vote exposes divisions

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SYDNEY: Australians will finally learn the result of a controversial national poll on same-sex marriage on Wednesday, with an expected “yes” vote set to unleash a divisive debate over how then to enshrine marriage equality into law. The Australian Bureau of Statistics is due to announce how the estimated 12.6 million Australians who participated in the poll have voted. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, a moderate who supports marriage equality, has pledged that if a majority vote “yes,” his government will quickly introduce a bill to change the marriage laws. But he must battle conservative elements within his ruling coalition who are demanding “religious freedom” exemptions in any new law to protect the rights of those who oppose gay marriage on faith grounds. The postal vote was designed to end more than a decade of political wrangling in Australia over the marriage equality issue.

AFP

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