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Australia to vote on same-sex marriage, after court challenge fails

Australia’s High Court on Thursday ruled that a national postal vote on same-sex marriage will go ahead, after a challenge by marriage equality advocates failed, the media reported.

Same-sex marriage advocates had taken the government to court over the postal vote which they argued was both unnecessary and an illegal use of public funds, reports CNN.

But in its decision, the Melbourne-based High Court ruled the national survey could go ahead.

Ballot papers will be now be mailed out to households across Australia from September 12, beginning the two-month process.

The question will be, “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the national vote on August 8, after another attempt to pass his preferred plebiscite failed in Australia’s senate, CNN reported.

Unlike the plebiscite, the postal vote is voluntary and does not require legislation to go ahead.

Following the announcement, Prime Minister Turnbull told the Australian parliament he and his wife would be voting “yes”. “And I’ll be encouraging others to be voting ‘yes’.”

Opposition Labor leader Bill Shorten tweeted: “Alright, let’s win this.”

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, who will be running the survey, voters will have until November 7 to submit their forms.

The final result will be revealed on November 15.

An August 22 poll by Newspoll showed 63 per cent of Australians supported same-sex marriage, while just 30 per cent were against.

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