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11 August 2017, 06:18 | Myron Mathis
Penny Wong's electric speech as Abbott calls for 'No' vote
The government's plan for a national plebiscite on same-sex marriage won't come cheap. "Obviously I will be voting no", Abbott said. In voting down the plebiscite bill, Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek wondered why the government was content in spending so much money on a non-binding vote, which would still go to Parliament even if the people vote "yes". "If you're anxious about religious freedom and freedom of speech, vote no, and if you don't like political correctness, vote no because voting no will help to stop political correctness in its tracks".
The High Court will hear a challenge to the same-sex marriage poll just a week before survey forms are due to be mailed.
The government will now proceed with a $122 million postal vote which does not require legislation.
The conservative Liberal Party-led coalition was narrowly re-elected in July 2016 with a promise to let voters decide whether Australia should recognize same-sex marriage through a popular vote.
"And God knows we need a little more love in our community".
Tennis legend-turned Christian pastor Margaret Court has once again weighed in on the same-sex marriage debate, saying it's "disappointing" Australia will vote on the issue.
The government on Tuesday endorsed the party decision to ask the Senate this week to reconsider allowing the plebiscite, which would be held November 25.
After months of delays and rumors about how Australia would make a democratic decision about the contentious issue, the process itself has become a subject of widespread scorn.
"What we didn't want to happen in 2004 was for the courts to start adjudicating on the definition of marriage".
Liberal backbencher Dean Smith, whose attempt to initiate a parliamentary vote on gay marriage was stymied by his party colleagues this week, supported the government but chose to sit with the crossbench.
"You talk about unifying moments?"
Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott's sister Christine Forster has hit back at his call for the public to vote "No" to protect religious freedoms and "stop political correctness in its tracks".
"John Howard took an afternoon to change the Marriage Act", she told ABC radio.
But the voluntary postal plebiscite, which looks the most likely scenario - will be a costly exercise, with no guarantee of marriage equality in the end.
"Over the next few months, awful things will be said about you and your families, about your lives, your identities, your choices, and the Prime Minister will not stand up for you".
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