Same-sex marriage bill introduced to Parliament


Debate on the bill begins in the Senate on Thursday, taking precedence over all general business.

The Tony Abbott camp in Parliament are very keen to slice ribbons off any prospective bill in the name of protecting freedom of conscience and religion.

In response to concerns over the controversial Safe Schools program, the bill would also allow parents to pull their children out of classes where they "genuinely believe" their kids are being taught a view of marriage inconsistent with their own.

Labor Senator Penny Wong and Greens leader Richard Di Natale both rose to respond to Senator Brandis' suggestion of new amendments, asserting that the bill put forward by Senator Smith had been agreed upon by a Senate Committee, and was shown to be acceptable by the will of the Australian people.

It also includes exemptions so religious organisations can refuse to conduct same-sex marriages.

WA Senator Dean Smith's bill to amend the Marriage Act has been introduced to the upper house this afternoon, following the victory of the "Yes" vote in the postal survey.

Senator Brandis added that the amendment was not, nor was there, a government position on the matter. Cormann said thought the Smith bill was "a good starting position" but thought it would need improvement to "strengthen religious protections".

Liberal frontbencher Christopher Pyne has said the bill could be debated in parliament as early as this week.

Throughout the day several Liberals who voted against same-sex marriage in the survey said they would vote in favour of it in parliament, including the assistant minister for cities, Angus Taylor, and the Liberal MP Lucy Wicks.

Senator Paterson believes state and federal anti-discrimination laws aren't strong enough.

The ABS will announce the results of the survey at 10am AEDT tomorrow.

The government had promised to allow the Parliament to consider a bill to create marriage equality in Australia in its final two-week session that is due to end on December 7.

Tiernan Brady, the director of Australian Marriage Equality, told HuffPost Australia last week the religious freedoms argument ran counter-intuitive to the idea of having a vote for marriage equality.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had already ruled out any chance of the Patterson bill succeeding.

'While the Law Council does not endorse every detail of the Smith Bill it represents a better balance from a human rights perspective and represents greater fairness, including those affected by winding back anti-discrimination laws, ' Ms McLeod said.

"I think we're all on the same path".

"What you have is a young fogie being led astray by some old fogies". "From what we've seen so far this is just another attempt to delay passing marriage equality", he said.