The Same-Sex Marriage Postal Survey has finally come to an end, with results to be announced tomorrow at 10am Eastern Standard Time in a press conference in Canberra. They will also be posted on the Australian Bureau Of Statistics website and the ABC and SBS will air the results live.
The Equality Campaign has organised a range of viewing events in capital cities around Australia, so jump on to their website to find one near you.
Liberal Senator Dean Smith has designed a cross-party marriage equality bill that Labor supports in its current form. The bill offers limited protections for religious ministers, civil celebrants and religious organisations. Liberal conservatives want stronger religious protections and protections for conscientious objectors to same-sex marriage and are backing a separate bill drafted by Liberal Senator James Paterson.
Patterson's bill would allow anyone with a religious or moral objection to refuse service to same-sex couples, including florists, bakers and musicians. The bill also offers protections from discrimination and vilification laws for people who oppose marriage equality and includes a Safe Schools clause.
On Tuesday, Attorney George Brandis shot down the conscientious objector protections in the Paterson Bill.
"If you're a gay man or gay woman and you go into a florist and say, 'I'd like to buy a bunch of flowers', it's just wrong and illegal for the florist to say, 'I don't serve gay people' – just as it would be wrong or illegal for the florist to say to an Indigenous person, 'I don't serve Indigenous people'", he said.
"If it's legally and morally wrong to discriminate against one gay person, I don't know how it becomes right to discriminate against two."
"We are certainly not going to remove one form of discrimination and at the same time instate another form of discrimination."
On Tuesday Malcolm Turnbull also criticised the Paterson bill. "Certainly the government would not countenance making legal discrimination that is illegal, that is unlawful today," he said, adding that these protections "would have virtually no prospect of getting through the Parliament." "This is not a marriage equality bill," said The Equality Campaign's Anna Brown. "It's about enshrining discrimination and taking Australia back decades." “Australians are voting to make our country a fairer and more equal place, not to take us back to a time where people can be denied service at a shop." “We are confident that the majority of parliamentarians are sensible and will see this for what it is and not wind Australia back decades." More updates to come tomorrow.