Australia, The Same-Sex Marriage Postal Survey Is 100% Going Ahead

Australia’s High Court has ruled that the voluntary same-sex marriage postal survey is able to go ahead.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is fully clear to run with the nation-wide survey, after the High Court ruled it constitutional.

In doing so, it dismissed arguments that the ABS had not been properly authorised to spend an estimated $120 million on the process (because Parliament hadn’t settled legislation allowing that to happen), and that it hadn’t been cleared to collect the relevant info about Australia’s voting populace (info stored by the Australian Electoral Commission).

This means that every Australian who enrolled to vote will receive a form asking the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”

As it stands, forms will be sent from September 12, and the ABS says they’ll all be sent out by September 25. Voters have been advised to return their forms by October 27, with a strict cut-off date of 6pm on November 7.

After that, the votes will be tallied, with the results posted to the ABS site on November 15. If a majority of respondents vote ‘Yes’, then the onus will be on the government to put the issue to a vote.

Previously, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that a bill seeking to legalise same-sex marriage would pass with flying colours should a ‘Yes’ vote be returned.

If not? Well, that doesn’t mean the issue is dead, not one bit: there’s still a huge amount of pressure on Australia’s politicians to just, you know, vote on the issue regardless of the results of a voluntary survey. It’d be a blow to the cause, but the fight for equality won’t end there.