Last week, the Australian government voted on a bill that will ban vilification and intimidation against LGBTI people during the government’s same-sex marriage survey.
Labor Senate leader Penny Wong, gave a strong speech and pointed out that although “sometimes prejudice comes in very polite forms” it still causes hurt.
I’m often reminded of that in this debate. Sometimes prejudice comes in very polite forms. Sometimes a lack of acceptance and disrespect comes with a great deal of courtesy. But it lands nevertheless.”
Over the course of the equal marriage marriage debate, misleading TV advertisements, homophobic letter campaigns, and vile posters found around the country.
Wong insisted a flawed process cannot be fixed and directly addressed the Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, saying he is not absolved from responsibility for hate speech during the survey period.
Voting is now underway on equal marriage in Australia, with the first ballots mailed out last week.
Turnbull opted to put the issue of same-sex marriage to the people in a contentious and controversial public vote.
The public vote, which is non-binding and advisory in nature, has no legal power – but the result will likely be taken into consideration by the country’s lawmakers.
Ballots will continue to be sent out to registered voters in the coming days and weeks.
The ballot paper will read: “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”
Polling shows that the Yes campaign has a healthy lead in the vote.
The deadline for the return of ballots is November 7, giving a voting period of nearly two months.
The result of the ballot will be announced at the end of November.