Numbers vital in getting gay marriage across the line

The Senate could begin debating changes to the Marriage Act as early as this week if the'Yes vote comes out on top

LGBT activists also said this bill runs counter to the will of the Australian people casting a vote for equality, not a "license to discriminate".

In the case of a no result, the issue of same-sex marriage will be ruled out of parliament for the remainder of the Coalition's term, as well as the next, should they remain in government.

The suggested laws have been received by supporters of the "yes" vote as a "kick in the teeth" to the gay community and which would roll back the clock on anti-discrimination legislation.

"There won't be a government position, there won't be a party position", Senator Cormann said. If passed, this law would, for example, allow a baker to refuse to bake a cake for a gay couple, or students to "opt out of classes that conflict with their values", said Paterson.

"The Dean Smith Bill covers who could marry, and could refuse to marry".

On the eve of the same-sex marriage survey result, Mr Turnbull said MPs and Senators would be free to move amendments to any bill to change the Marriage Act, but those contained in Senator Paterson's plan but would have "virtually no prospect of getting through the Parliament".

"That's why it is necessary to extend the same principle applied in other same-sex marriage bills beyond ministers of religion to anyone else directly connected to a wedding".

Hate crimes up in California, and United States , for second consecutive year
There were 40 hate crimes reported in the state previous year , the highest number of bias-related incidents since 2010. The latest statistics are based on voluntary reporting from almost 16,000 United States law enforcement agencies.

Almost eight in 10 Australians who received the Australian Bureau of Statistics same-sex marriage survey form have already had their say.

Before announcing the postal survey, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull pledged that if the result in the postal survey was a yes, then he'd seek to introduce legislation to legalise same-sex marriage by Christmas.

Tasmanian marriage equality advocate Rodney Croome claimed the bill "would effectively allow businesses to hang a "no gays" sign in the window ".

"If we were not to implement a decision on marriage equality, the nation would throw up its hands and give up on the parliament", he told a meeting of opposition senators in Canberra.

The Human Rights Law Centre said Paterson's bill was "a Trojan horse to allow unprecedented discrimination".

"What you have is a young fogie being led astray by some old fogies".

"We do not want a dictatorship of the majority in this country".

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