Australia voted YES to the SSM postal vote – now what?

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Here's what you need to know.

At 10 this morning, Australian Statistician David W. Kalisch announced the majority of the country had voted yes in the same-sex marriage postal vote, but what happens next?

Well firstly, *cue celebrations and a fair few wedding proposals*.

wedding proposal

Then Wednesday evening...

At around 5pm, the giant rainbow flag, which flutters above Taylor Square in the heart of Sydney’s LGBTI neighbourhood of Darlinghurst, will be raised to mark the result. But there’s no time for hangovers because, even with a Yes vote, the law isn’t legalised.

Then, on Thursday...

It's possible that two competing same-sex marriage bills could be tabled in the Senate. Last month, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he was hopeful marriage equality would be legal “by Christmas”. Whether that happens will depend on what shape a new law will take. The crucial sticking point is who should be exempt from officiating or providing services for same-sex weddings.

Labor, the Greens and many in the Coalition are backing a bill from Liberal Senator Dean Smith that will exempt religious ministers and celebrants as well as religious organisations from being involved in weddings.

A rival bill, by fellow Liberal Senator James Paterson, is backed by the conservative wing of the Liberals and Nationals and extends those opt-outs to anyone with a business who has a “conscientious” objections to same-sex marriage and adds a section on schooling. Registrars could even refuse to issue marriage certificates to gay couples under the proposal. Yes campaigners are dead-set against this second bill saying it will roll back Australia’s anti-discrimination laws and could allow shops to put up signs saying “no gays”.

Written By Sangeeta Kocharekar

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