Today is the day.
After what has felt like an eternity, LGBT+ Australians may finally get the news they want to hear.
We’ve seen awful ads and horrible posters from Team NO.
Nasty things have been said.
Tony Abbott got headbutted.
Mark Latham fell off his chair.
John Oliver made fun of us.
But with the long and painful postal survey behind us, we can now look forward to the results. Although early polls have suggested YES was crushing it (and we hope it does), you can never tell these days. (Ahem, Brexit, Trump).
Various polls have YES at about 60%, showing that NO may have gained some ground in the latter stages of the campaign.
The official results will be released in Canberra at 10am (AEDT). Synchronise your clocks, people.
The announcement will be made at the Australian Bureau of Statatisis in Canberra by statistician David W. Kalisch.
If YES wins
Expect massive parties, public displays of affection and lots of wedding proposals.
There are multiple events planned in various cities, so if you are looking to celebrate head to the Equality Campaign site for more details.
When the parties are over, there will be the business of changing the law. According to News.com.au, it’s possible that two competing same-sex marriage bills end up in the Senate.
In one bill, religious people can choose to be exempt from a same-sex marriage, which means a priest may refuse to act as celebrant. This one is being backed by Labor, the Greens and part of the Coalition.
The other bill is being back by the Liberals and adds that any business which is anti-SSM can opt out, meaning a baker may refuse to make your fabulous gay wedding cake. There is also something about schools in there, but at this point, the details are a little fuzzy. We do know that Team NO has completely irrational fear that LGBT+ people wanting to force all students to wear dresses. Bill two clearly sucks.
By Monday, one of those bills should be on the table. Our politicians will then have to vote Yes or No. It’s crazy, but some of them can – and will – still vote No. (Don’t these clowns work for us?) But it’s likely the majority will listen to the public and go YES.
If everything goes well, same-sex marriage will be legalised (bill one) by Christmas. After the standard 30-day waiting period, this will mean the first gay marriages will take place in January.
If NO wins
We don’t even want to think about this, but if NO wins it will be a sad, sad day.
No parties, no celebrations. Tony Abbott will call it “a moral victory”. Parades will be rained on.
Same sex marriage will be officially off the table while Malcolm Turnbull is Prime Minister, and we’ll have to wait till the next election for any changes.
Labor says if they win next time around, they’ll prioritise making same-sex marriage legal.