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Two-thirds of Australians have voted in equal marriage ballot

Nick Duffy October 17, 2017

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 01: The stage is set for a rally in support of same sex mariage on October 1, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. Australians are currently taking part in the Marriage Law Postal Survey, which is asking whether the law should be changed to allow same-sex marriage. The outcome of the survey is expected to be announced on 15 November. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Two-thirds of Australians have voted in the country’s ballot on same-sex marriage.

The country is currently holding a public vote on whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

The informal postal vote is entirely advisory and non-binding, but will inform MPs in the country when the issue goes to Parliament.

Today the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which is responsible for running the vote, confirmed the amount of votes cast so far.

Protests in Australia
Protests in Australia (SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

With just weeks until the November 7 deadline for ballots, the ABS today confirmed it had received 10.8 million forms (67.5 per cent) back.

Just 32.5 per cent of eligible voters are yet to cast a vote.

Speaking to Sky News, Tiernan Brady of the Equality Campaign said he believed we’ve “confidently won the argument”.

Despite intensive campaigning from the ‘No’ camp, he said: “I think the Australian people have seen through it… I think the public have made their mind up.”

There has been a spate of hate crimes in the country during the vote.

Same-sex marriage ballot paper
Same-sex marriage ballot paper (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Last week a mother in Melbourne was sent a letter threatening her children after she put up a rainbow flag.

Last month a cafe was threatened with arson for supporting the Yes campaign while a 14 year old girl received a death threat for supporting marriage equality on social media.

PinkNews revealed last month that the anti-LGBT Coalition for Marriage is telling activists to play to fears over gay sex and gender issues.

The group bills itself as a “grassroots movement” that will be on “the front line to defend traditional marriage in Australia”.

At an induction session for Coalition for Marriage activists attended by a PinkNews reporter, the group’s campaign leadership told activists to play up fears over “radical gay sex education” and transgender issues.

Australia same-sex postal vote
Australia same-sex postal vote (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Three Australian Prime Ministers have been at loggerheads over equal marriage, as anti-gay former PM Tony Abbott viciously mocked former PM Bob Hawke after Hawke criticised the vote called by current Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull.

Tony Abbott has become the most prominent voice of the anti-gay lobby as Australia votes on equal marriage – alienating much of his own family in the process.

After Abbott suggested it would be “best” for his gay sister’s children to be raised by a straight couple, his own daughter Frances spoke out for equality, appearing in a TV ad on the opposing side of the debate to her dad.

The ex-leader has taken his opposition to LGBT rights to surreal extremes, lashing out at “transgender marriage” and demanding censorship of a Macklemore performance over gay anthem ‘Same Love’.

The Equality Campaign last month released a video and image of former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke, 87, backing the YES campaign for marriage equality.

More: Australia, Australia, Australian, Equality, Gay, LGBT, marriage, same sex marriage

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