Challenge filed in court to Australian gay marriage ballot

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ABC's news editorial policy manager Mark Maley directed staff that "language is important" during the campaign, adding: "The preferred terminology is same-sex marriage, rather than "marriage equality" or "gay marriage".

"When politicians weigh in to this debate, or when articles appear in the paper, we experience a spike in calls - as well as posts on our social media - from distressed young people and their anxious families".

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that he expects the country to vote "yes" on the issue that has divided his center-right Liberal Party, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Mr Shorten also said in Australia's multicultural, multi-faith society people needed to not just tolerate but celebrate diversity.

AUSTRALIANS will be asked to take part in a voluntary postal vote on gay marriage in October under a Turnbull Government plan to get the issue off the agenda by the end of the year.

"I have many other calls on my time as prime minister, but I will certainly support a "yes" vote".

An independent lawmaker and two rights advocates said they would lodge an application in the High Court on Wednesday for an injunction to prevent the vote going ahead.

He says no private member's bill will go to parliament without giving the Australian people a say, as promised at the 2016 election.

Finally, I look forward to the day when my brother, and other friends and family members, can have their committed and loving relationships recognized in law!

Of course, the politicians could do it all by themselves today - the High Court decided as much in 2013 - but the majority of the Liberal Party has stuck to the election promise of a plebiscite. The postal vote, with an estimated cost of $122 million, will not change the law but simply provide additional guidance about public opinion.

Kildea said without parliamentary legislation to approve the expenditure, there could be questions around whether they had the "statutory authority" to carry it out.

The ALP could walk away from a negative outcome relatively easily, blaming process and a divided government, and saying the result was out of kilter with widely-measured community views.

"There are no constitutional or legal reasons to hold this nationwide vote whatsoever".

If the government chooses to hold a national postal vote, Cormann said he hoped the ballots would start being delivered on September 12, for a decision by November 12.

"Unlike in Ireland there is no need to change the constitution to allow same-sex marriage".

Kirby who has been with his partner Johan van Vloten for 50 years will boycott the vote.

Opposition Senate leader Penny Wong said that some lawmakers in the ruling coalition would never vote for marriage equality, regardless of public opinion.

"Same-sex marriage is a debate we've been having for way, way too long", she wrote.