AUSTRALIA: Nonbinding Postal Plebiscite On Marriage To Happen, Former PM Tony Abbott Urges “NO” Vote

UPI reports:

Australian citizens will be asked where they stand on potential legalization of same-sex marriage in a non-binding mail-in vote, after lawmakers failed to pass legislation Wednesday to make it a national plebiscite vote issue in November.

Canberra’s governing Liberal-National Coalition failed to pass a bill in Parliament that would have secured funding to restore Australia’s compulsory plebiscite on Nov. 25, which means the same-sex marriage vote will instead likely take shape as a voluntary voting effort.

“At the last election, we made a very clear promise to the Australian people that we would not facilitate the introduction of a bill to legalize same-sex marriage until the Australian people had had their say,” Turnbull said in a press conference on Tuesday prior to the plebiscite effort falling short.

Australia’s News Corp outlet reports:

The former prime minister fired the first shot this morning in what will be a fierce public battle over coming weeks as Australia prepares to vote on whether to make same-sex marriage legal.

“Obviously I will be voting no, but in the end this is not about the politicians, this is about the people, it’s about your view,” Mr Abbott told reporters outside Parliament this morning. “And I say to you if you don’t like same-sex marriage, vote ‘No,’” he said.

“If you’re worried about religious freedom and freedom of speech, vote ‘No’, and if you don’t like political correctness, vote ‘No’ because voting ‘No’ will help to stop political correctness in its tracks.”

Last year Abbott came to the US to deliver an attack on LGBT rights in a speech to Alliance Defending Freedom, which openly advocates for criminalizing homosexuality.

Abbott’s lesbian sister hits back.

More from ABC News:

Children are being exposed to hatred by the push for a public vote on same-sex marriage, Labor senator Penny Wong has told the Upper House. “This ain’t a respectful debate,” she said in a passionate speech to the Senate this morning.

The Senate has refused to let the Government bring back the bill for a plebiscite on same-sex marriage, with Labor, the Greens, the Nick Xenophon Team and Derryn Hinch combining to reject it. A gay woman with two children, she was visibly angry about the tone of the debate.

“The Australian Christian Lobby described our children as the stolen generation,” she said. “We love our children and I object, as do every person who cares about children, and as do all those couples in this country, same-sex couples who have kids, to be told our children are a stolen generation. You talk about unifying moments? It is not a unifying moment. It is exposing our children to that kind of hatred.”