Debate On Same Sex Marriage Legislation To Begin Tomorrow

Celebrations continue

Debate On Same Sex Marriage Legislation To Begin Tomorrow

Debate on legislation to legalise same sex marriage will likely begin in the senate tomorrow.

"Today we celebrate, tomorrow we legislate," opposition leader Bill Shorten said moments after the ABS announced the results of the same sex marriage postal survey on Wednesday morning.

A majority 'yes' vote was recorded in 133 of the 150 federal electorates across the country, as well as each state and territory.

Liberal Senator Dean Smith, on behalf of a group of cross-party senators, is introducing a private bill to change the Marriage Act, which will be debated on Thursday.

The prime minister said Dean Smith's bill could "serve the purpose as being the first draft", while Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said it was "a good starting point" in need of changes to boost religious protections.

Greens Leader Richard Di Natale is among those warning the legislation must not be used as a Trojan Horse to entrench discrimination.

"At a time when this parliament is perhaps at its lowest ebb, what we have seen through this process is the parliament at its best," Senator Di Natale said.

"This is a resounding result and we are so proud to be standing here today with such an emphatic result that says yes to love and yes to equality."

The Attorney-General George Brandis said while he couldn't predict when legislation would come into effect, he hoped it would be passed before Christmas. 

"This is an important day in Australia's history. It is an important day in the history of human rights in Australia. It is an important day on which we acknowledge and, finally - finally - strike down this barrier of discrimination against people on the grounds of their sexuality."

Liberal Senator Dean Smith, on behalf of a group of cross-party senators, is introducing a private bill to change the Marriage Act, which will be debated on Thursday.

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