Tuesday, 12 December, 2017

Abbott's bid to delay marriage bill fails

Abbott's bid to delay marriage bill fails Abbott's bid to delay marriage bill fails
Bennie Garza | 07 December, 2017, 11:04

Mr Entsch thanked the 125 MPs who spoke during more than 21.5 hours of debate on the bill, which he co-signed with gay Liberal senator Dean Smith and three others.

"In my first speech I defined our bond by the ring that sits on both of our left hands, and they are the answer to a question we can not ask", an emotional Wilson said, referring to the first time he addressed the Parliament a year ago.

Media captionWill you marry me?

The 33-year-old primary school teacher responded "yes", which was recorded in the official parliamentary record.

The Senate voted decisively in favour of the legislation last week.

It was agreed the bill be read a third time, with no amendments at 2.47pm Perth time.

Turnbull, a gay marriage supporter, says he wants wedding celebrants, not just those affiliated with churches, to have the right to refuse to officiate at same-sex marriages.

The House of Representatives is widely expected to vote to allow same-sex marriage across the nation.

"I'll be supporting the proposed amendments for religious freedoms when they are introduced", he said. "The question though is we need to get the balances right in terms of the protections of those people who have fundamental beliefs based on religion or otherwise", he added.

Further debate on amendments delayed the vote until almost 6pm tonight.

"Australians are sick of excuses and they're sick of delays", Entsch said.

Drafting such measures into the Australian bill would delay it, but several gay marriage opponents have told Parliament this week they would not stand in the way of marriage equality because the Australian public clearly supported it in a recent postal ballot.

The only potential obstacle to the law passing on Thursday would be if marriage equality opponents managed to amend the legislation.

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