A Liberal senator has said marriage equality could be legalised by Christmas if a “yes” vote is returned in the postal survey.
Education minister Simon Birmingham (pictured, left) told Sky News the government wouldn’t delay the introduction of same-sex marriage legislation.
“If the Australian people … have indicated a ‘Yes’ vote, the government will get on with what we promised the Australian people we would do, which is facilitating debate on legislation to deliver marriage equality,” he said.
“We see no reason that it can’t be delivered before Christmas.”
Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke (pictured, right) told Sky News that Labor would cooperate with the government to get marriage equality done as quickly as possible to stop the issue becoming “a filibuster that goes on forever.”
“It’s a conscience vote issue that the vast majority of Labor MPs want to get through,” he said.
“I’m putting down very clearly on the record that we will cooperate with the government in making sure this is dealt with in a timely manner this year.”
Liberal Senator Dean Smith’s same-sex marriage bill, which was also backed by Senator Birmingham, has broad support and is the likeliest to be put forward following a “yes” vote.
Recent polls have suggested a majority of voters have returned a “yes” vote in the postal survey, as the last of the mailed survey forms make their way to the Australian Bureau of Statistics before the cutoff next week.
The results of the survey will be announced on November 15.