Australia said YES! So, when is Parliament going to get this done?
Well, the marriage equality survey was non-binding. That means the YES result itself didn’t make marriage equality law. In order for marriage equality to become law, a bill still needs to pass through both houses of Parliament.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how this will likely happen:
Firstly, a bill for marriage equality has been introduced into the Senate — Liberal Senator Dean Smith introduced a bill with wide, multi-party support on November 15 after Australia said YES.
Senators will then make speeches about the bill. This is where we’re up to at the week starting Monday 27 November. Senators can speak for 20 minutes each and we think this will take a couple of days.
Senators may then attempt to introduce amendments to the bill. Each amendment is proposed, debated and voted on by the Senate. If a majority of the Senate votes for an amendment, it becomes part of the bill.
The Senate then votes on the bill, including any amendments that have been successful. If a majority of the Senate vote for the bill, it goes to the House of Representatives.
The bill is then introduced to the House of Representatives. This will likely happen in the week starting 4 December. Members of the House who want to can make speeches outlining their views on marriage equality. We think this will likely take a couple of days.
Next, MPs can introduce amendments to the bill. The amendments will be debated and voted on by the House. If the majority of the House vote for an amendment, it becomes part of the bill.
Finally, the House will vote on the marriage equality bill!
If the House and the Senate have both voted for the same marriage equality bill in the same form, it goes to the Governor-General to be given royal assent.
Marriage equality will be the law of the land at most 28 days after royal assent!
🎉 🎉 Then, of course, Australians will all be able to go and get married! 🎉 🎉