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在线翻译:
szdaily -> World
Australia’s gay vote battle comes to a head
    2017-August-11  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

AUSTRALIA’S bitter political battle over legalizing gay marriage came to a head Wednesday, with the government pushing ahead with a postal vote after parliament rejected a referendum — both options bitterly opposed by activists.

Polls indicate popular support in Australia for marriage equality, but the issue has dragged on for more than a decade amid political wrangling over the best way to vote on the issue.

The conservative Liberal-National coalition last year went to the polls promising to hold a nationwide plebiscite, but the opposition Labor Party, Greens and cross-bench senators Wednesday rejected the option in the upper house Senate for the second time.

The opposition, along with many gay rights campaigners, favors a free vote among MPs, with parliamentarians not bound by party policy.

They say a national vote is costly and will prove divisive, subjecting gay people and their families to hate speech.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Tuesday committed A$122 million (US$97 million) to the postal vote, run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, with ballot papers sent out by September 12 and due back early November.

“Strong leaders carry out their promises. Weak leaders break them,” he said.

If it returns a “yes” outcome, the government will table a private bill on parliament’s lower house, where the Liberals could cast a free vote by December. If “no” is the result, the issue will not go to parliament.

Marriage equality advocates have vowed to challenge the postal vote in court, saying the government might be exceeding its executive authority in holding it, casting doubt on whether the ballot would go ahead.

Supporters also fear the postal option could disenfranchise younger Australians — usually more supportive of same-sex marriage — who are less likely to use the mailing system.

(SD-Agencies)

 

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