Australia kicks off same-sex marriage ballot

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Australia launches a non-compulsory weeks-long postal vote on whether to legalise same-sex marriage. Samantha Vadas reports.

AUSTRALIA (REUTERS / SBS / NETWORK TEN / NINE NETWORK) – It’s the question that’s getting a huge response; ‘should Australia legalise same sex marriage’?

The process of officially giving Aussies their say kicked off on Tuesday (September 12) as the first forms in a heated voluntary postal survey landed in mailboxes across the country.

AUSTRALIAN OPPOSITION LEADER, LABOR LEADER BILL SHORTEN,

“Today the survey goes out. About six hundred thousand of the sixteen million surveys will be posted today and across the next week surveys will start arriving in people’s letterboxes.”

Aussies will now be asked for their opinion on whether same-sex couples should wed with the choice of ‘yes’ or ‘no’. A simple answer with a big effect.

AUSTRALIAN TEENAGER WITH TWO MOTHERS, EDDIE BLEWETT,

“People are saying stuff about my family, they’re saying that they’re not normal, second rate. Don’t listen, be yourself, vote yes.”

AUSTRALIAN CHRISTIAN LOBBY, LYLE SHELTON,

“There’s a deeper ethical question as to whether it’s right for us as a civil society to create public policy that requires children to miss out on their mother or father.”

The ballot – which runs until the end of October – will determine if Australia becomes the twenty-fifth country to legalise same-sex marriage.

It’s one of the only developed English-speaking nations not to have done so, despite strong popular support and the backing of a majority of lawmakers.

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