Voting in the marriage equality plebiscite is now officially done and dusted, which means that this coming Wednesday, LGBT citizens will have the dubious pleasure of finding out just what percentage of their fellow Australians voted in favour of their civil rights.
While all major networks will likely be covering the news in some way, the ABC will be devoting exclusive coverage to the result on its ABC News channel, following up with several hours of analysis, commentary and reactions.
Per ABC TV listings, the coverage will kick off at:
- 9:45am in New South Wales, the ACT and Tasmania
- 9:15am in South Australia
- 8:45am in Queensland
- 8:15am in the Northern Territory
- 6:45am in Western Australia
TV Tonight report that SBS World News are planning to run similar dedicated coverage of the result, while the commercial networks will likely incorporate it into their existing morning shows.
Per ABS data, more than 12.6 million Australians, which is roughly 78.5% of those entitled to vote, returned their forms in the marriage equality survey.
Although the result of the poll will not be binding on the government, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has promised that a bill to change marriage laws will be forthcoming.
Labor and the Liberals have reportedly somewhat settled on a “compromise” bill that will allow same-sex couples to wed while exempting religious organisations from conducting same-sex marriages.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten has said that Labor will give this bill “very favourable consideration”, although there is still concern that there may yet be another civil rights shitfight to unfold.
Senator Richard Di Natale is more cautious, saying:
“We will wait to see what the final bill looks like before we give a firm commitment as to how we will vote. What we are seeing (from the conservatives) … is an opportunity to use this as the Trojan horse to further entrench and expand discrimination in law.”
Interesting times, folks.