Australia's parliament could legalise gay marriage if referendum gets go-ahead

Any move to hold a postal vote on same-sex marriage is likely to be challenged in the High Court

"This is something that ought not to be put to a plebiscite, this is something that parliamentarians are paid for to decide and our position hasn't changed", he told Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"That moved me and it reinforced my resolve and I came to the conclusion very quickly, with great clarity, that it's now time to legislate by parliamentary vote same-sex marriage in Australia".

Polls show the majority of Australians support same-sex marriage.

Bill McLennan, Australian Statistician and head of the Australian Bureau of Statistics between 1995 and 2000, said he doubted the ABS had the authority to conduct the vote.

After two hours of debate, the party stuck to its existing position of a compulsory national plebiscite, while numerous Liberal MPs reserved the right to ignore the decision even if the majority said yes.

Cabinet minister Mathias Cormann says the government has advice there is a "legal and constitutional" way forward on the postal vote, but the specifics are a matter for the joint party room which will meet on Tuesday.

An AEC spokesman told HuffPost Australia they were still getting all the info about the plebiscite and how the voting process would work, and that the AEC was unsure when the cut-off date for changing your details would be.

Legal experts said a postal vote may also require Senate approval, however, setting the scene for a likely court challenge to the government's plan.

He said the prime minister would then, as promised, bring a conscience vote to parliament before the final sitting day of December 7.

Labor leader Bill Shorten asked the prime minister in question time on Tuesday whether he endorsed the "vile rubbish" of anti-gay-marriage campaigners such as former Tasmanian Liberal MP Chris Miles.

The Senate in November 2016 voted down the plebiscite proposal and the new attempt is expected to face the same fate.

"I'm a strong leader. Say "yes" to gay marriage, and let's live happily ever after".

Both options have been widely-condemned by same-sex marriage advocates, who say a vote is unnecessary and expensive, while a polarizing campaign would be traumatic for Australia's LGBT community.

"There are ID requirements, but there are people who don't have the required identification and we understand that, so you can have a third party who is on the roll to do it with you, and they can declare that you are who you say you are".

Same-sex couples can engage in contracts of civil union and recognition of their relationship in most australian states, but these unions are not recognized at the federal level.

"My prediction, and it's only a prediction, is that in the plebiscite, which ever of the two forms it take, more people will vote yes than no", he said.

"Instead, they prefer to delay it with a goddammed plebiscite and/or postal vote that are not even legally binding", he wrote on Facebook.

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