Australia says yes to same-sex marriage in historic postal survey

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The Australian Bureau of Statistics will announce the results of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey in Canberra at 10am today.

If the official count of the same-sex marriage survey matches myriad opinion polls, same-sex Australian couples will be able to marry by Christmas.

Australians have voted yes on marriage equality.

The DUP has used a controversial Stormont voting mechanism to prevent the legalisation of same-sex marriage, despite most Assembly members supporting the move at the last vote.

American rapper Macklemore also became immersed in the debate ahead of singing his 2012 chart-topper Same Love at the NRL grand final on October 1 - angering former prime minister Tony Abbott and right-wing independent MP Bob Katter.

More than 30 business leaders, including the chief executive officers of Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Telstra Corp., this year petitioned the government to introduce legislation on same-sex marriage.

Both the Coalition and the opposition Labor Party have promised to give their MPs a conscience vote on the bill. "One where everyone's treated with respect and dignity, where we believe in a society built on commitment and responsibility", he told Sky News.

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"It is a process that we have to conclude by Christmas if we're going to keep faith with the Australian people", Mr Zimmerman said.

"I don't agree with the Prime Minister that this (James Paterson) bill makes activities which are now illegal legal", Nationals Senator Matt Canavan told ABC radio. The outcome will boost marriage equality campaigners in Northern Ireland and elsewhere.

Labor Senator Penny Wong, who has co-signed Senator Smith's bill, said Senator Paterson's proposal was a "distraction".

The results of Malcolm Turnbull government's postal survey on same-sex marriage have been announced.

Liberal senator Dean Smith, who has authored a bill which would legislate marriage equality, has asked Parliament to begin the debate on Thursday.

Greenwich said the campaign had made more than 1m phone calls and knocked 100,000 doors, an "unprecedented" level of support that had exceeded "any campaign in our history". Ironically to ensure these protections, the bill would override existing state and territory anti-discrimination and freedom-of-speech laws.

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