Looks Like Australia’s Marriage Equality Vote Will Be Delayed Until February

Earlier this year, Malcolm Turnbull declared that a plebiscite on same-sex marriage would take place “as soon as possible” after the federal election, adding that he “would expect it to be held this calendar year.” 
To nobody’s particular surprise, though, the government has failed to even formulate a plebiscite question yet, and it looks as if the public vote will not be happening until February 2017 at the earliest. 
In keeping with the general theme that everything is someone else’s fault and nobody is ever accountable, a representative for Turnbull has passed the buck to the Australian Electoral Commission, telling Fairfax that:
“The government has always said that a decision on same-sex marriage will be made by a vote of all Australians in a national plebiscite to be held as soon as practicable. That commitment has not changed. Late last week, the AEC provided advice to the Special Minister of State that strongly recommended against the conduct of a plebiscite this calendar year.”
The Daily Telegraph reckon that Turnbull is likely to announce the timeline for the plebiscite to the coalition party room on September 13, in the second week of parliamentary sittings. 
They also claim that a question has already been formulated, and that Australian voters will be asked: “Do you approve of a law to permit people of the same sex to marry?”
This wording (which seems a little too straightforward to pass the sniff test with far-right coalition MPs) was apparently chosen after various other options, which included references to ‘gender’ instead of sex, were tested in front of focus groups. 
Turnbull’s rep, however, denies that this is the wording of the question, saying that any specifics will be “subject to usual cabinet processes” and that “no decisions have as yet been made.”
Opposition leader Bill Shorten, meanwhile, remains hopeful that he might be able to push a private members’ bill through parliament, if he can convince enough Liberal MPs to support it.
The Prime Minister, however, is sticking to the line that community support for same-sex marriage should allow a yes vote to “sail through”, even though coalition MPs are not bound to support the result, and could still theoretically block it in parliament. 
To sum up the entire sorry situation, then:

Source: Fairfax / Daily Telegraph.
Photo: Brendon Thorne / Getty.