Same-sex marriage by Christmas

GAY couples could get married in Australia as early as December 14 - the date the Turnbull Government expects the momentous law to take effect.

Government insiders expect the "Yes" vote will be above 60 per cent and the "No" vote will be more than 30 per cent, sparking early, informal conversations with West Australian Liberal Dean Smith, who has written a Private Member's Bill to facilitate marriage equality.

The Bill, likely to pass Parliament with bipartisan support, comes as Federal Brisbane MP Trevor Evans said he would be happy to keep parliamentarians in Canberra until the vote was brought on. The survey results will be announced on 15 November.

"We have always hoped to resolve the question of same sex marriage before the end of this year,'' Mr Evans told The Courier-Mail yesterday.

"The survey results will be announced on November 15 and if the majority of Australians vote Yes, the Parliament will be able to legislate before Christmas," Mr Evans said. "I, for one, would be happy for the Parliament to stay back and keep working until this issue is resolved, if necessary.

"The vast majority of parliamentarians, in both the ­Senate and the House of Representatives, have pledged to support a Private Member's Bill, if the majority of Australians vote Yes.

"It will be good for the country to resolve this issue before the end of this year, so we can continue to focus on other important priorities for our nation, such as the economy, the Budget, national security and energy."

Government frontbencher Christopher Pyne told Sky News yesterday: "With goodwill from all sides of the debate, I've got no doubt we can pass it out of the House of Representatives and then pass it in the Senate by the end of the sitting period."

Meanwhile, questions are being asked as to why the No camp is continuing to spend so much money to counter the Yes vote, when a high-number of people have already voted, which is believed to be to support marriage equality.

Some political insiders believe the No proponents are using the campaign to identify voters who would be able to be persuaded to vote for minor parties, such as Cory Bernardi's Australian Conservatives.

It comes as another church in Melbourne was vandalised on Sunday. "Vote yes" and "bash bigots" was painted on Glen Waverley Anglican Church.

Topics:  editors picks equal rights human rights same-sex marriage ssm turnbull government

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