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EXPLAINED: What Happens After The Same Sex Marriage Results Come In

What comes next?

EXPLAINED: What Happens After The Same Sex Marriage Results Come In

Wednesday will see the results of Australia’s Same Sex Marriage Survey announced but what does it mean?

Nearly eight in 10 Australians who received survey forms have had their say with a result to be announced at 10am on Wednesday – if it’s a "yes", same-sex marriage could be debated in parliament this week, if not, we'll have to wait for a new government before it's discussed again. 

If the result is YES?

"If the nation votes 'yes' then we will facilitate a private member's Bill to make same-sex marriage legal before the end of the year," Malcolm Turnbull said to reporters in Western Sydney in August.

 The vote is non-binding, meaning the government doesn’t have to act on the results.

"If there's a yes vote on Wednesday there will be a private members bill which will be facilitated by the government coming forward for a vote on the floor of the parliament," Liberal frontbencher Christopher Pyne explained to Sky News on Sunday.

Only the upper house is sitting this week, while both houses will return on November 27 for two weeks.

Turnbull is positive it’ll be a good result for Yes supporters.

"I'm confident, very confident that the Bill, same-sex marriage will be legalised and you will then see the focus of the Parliament being on the detail and it will all turnaround over questions of religious freedom."

What if it’s a NO?

For the Coalition this means same-sex marriage is off the table.

"It's very straightforward, if there is a 'yes' vote, then we'll facilitate a private member's bill to legalise same-sex marriage, and if there's a 'no' vote, we won't, that's it," Turnbull said. 

"If the people have spoken against it, we won't be proposing it at the next election I can assure you."

For the Yes campaign, the focus will shift to supporting members of the SSM community.

"For us this isn't about political games. It's about our humanity at the deepest level, so many LGBTI people will feel devastated,"  long-time gay rights advocate Rodney Croome told the Sydney Morning Herald.

But this won’t be the last Australia has heard about same-sex marriage, Yes spokesman, Alex Greenwich said, explaining the movement has suffered big setbacks in the past – such as bills being defeated or not even coming to a vote – and has then regrouped.

"You never stop wanting to be treated as an equal citizen."