The Australian government has announced its intention to hold a referendum by mail on whether to legalize same-sex marriage. About it reports Reuters.
Australian authorities have repeatedly tried to legalize same-sex marriage, but consistently opposed by the opposition. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has promised to hold a referendum on the issue in the case, if his party wins the national elections. In the end, though the center-right liberal-national coalition managed to win with a small margin a proposal for a referendum was blocked by the Senate where the majority has kept the opposition labour party.
In conditions when in the ruling coalition, a number of senior politicians oppose gay marriage, Turnbull and his supporters decided to resort to unusual means — referedum in the mail. It is not mandatory, but, as the government hopes, will give him the moral right to hold a bill to legalize gay unions. It is unclear whether it will be possible to organize a referendum without the approval of the Senate is the court will decide.
The labour party supports gay marriage, but believes that this issue should be resolved with a free vote in Parliament without taking into account the requirements of the faction. In the case of a referendum, the labour party, there is a risk of splash of homophobia in a society in which sexual minorities may suffer. In turn, the government insists on referedum to avoid a split in the ruling coalition. According to the latest polls, the legalization of gay marriage in the country supports 61 percent of the population.