Same Sex Marriage Survey

Australians are being asked by the federal government, as to whether the law should be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry.  A nationwide vote is not needed to change the law in Australia. The Turnbull government proposed a voluntary postal survey as the second-best option to fulfil its commitment not to facilitate the introduction of a same-sex marriage bill until the Australian people have had their say.

Important Dates

  • On Friday the 27th of October 2017, the ABS requests that you mail your form by this date to ensure that it will count.
  • On Tuesday the 7th of November 2017, the survey will close, meaning that if your survey is received after this, it will not be counted.
  • The following week on Wednesday the 15th of November 2017, survey results will be published on the ABS website. The Australian Statistician will publish a statement on the quality and integrity of the survey.

What happens if there’s a ‘Yes’ vote

If Australia votes in favour of same-sex marriage, Mr Turnbull has promised Parliament will vote on the issue before Christmas. This means both houses of Parliament need to vote by the 7th of December, when it rises for the year. The postal survey result is not legally binding on the Ministers of Parliament. Some ministers say they will respect the outcome of a ‘Yes’ vote in the postal survey – in their electorates, states or nationally and so will vote ‘Yes’ in Parliament. Others have said that they will vote ‘No’ regardless of what happens.

What happens if there’s a ‘No’ vote

If Australia votes against same-sex marriage, the no campaigners will claim victory and declare the matter to be settled. However, the issue will not go away. Marriage equality advocates will most likely not drop this case. There will be pressure again on the Ministers of Parliament to agitate for a free vote in the party room.

If you would like further assistance regarding information on same-sex relationships, please contact us on 08 7132 5636 to speak with one of our experienced Adelaide lawyers.