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From 'No' To Whoa: Marriage Equality Campaigners End Week With A Song In Their Hearts

But there were some discordant notes all the same.

07/10/2017 8:46 AM AEDT | Updated 07/10/2017 8:55 AM AEDT
Cameron Spencer via Getty Images
Macklemore performs before the 2017 NRL Grand Final match between the Melbourne Storm and the North Queensland Cowboys at ANZ Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Sydney, Australia.

What began as a week full of weird argy bargy over an extremely positive song at a footy final ended on a confident note, with polls indicating the 'yes' vote is ahead in the federal government's controversial survey to determine if people who love each other should marry.

A raft of opinion polls released over the past two weeks showing the 'yes' side is ahead were given extra heft by the Australian Bureau of Statistics update showing 57.5 percent of registered voters had already returned their ballots, with four weeks left until the survey is complete.

"It's very hard to see how the 'no' case could win from here unless an awful lot of people are straight-out lying to pollsters," concluded pollster John Stirton in the Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday, in reference to the trends shown by the different polls after the ABS published its update.

But the week didn't start that with the same optimism.

As Germany conducted its first same-sex marriages since making them legal earlier this year, Australia's 'no' side of the debate was up in arms over Macklemore's performance of Same Love at the NRL grand final on Saturday.

Everyone from former Prime Minster Tony Abbott to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton chiming in.

"Footy fans shouldn't be subjected to a politicised grand final. Sport is sport," declared Tony Abbott, who was once loudly booed by the NRL's totally non political fans.

Dutton -- ever the political peace maker -- tried to help his former boss.

"I am into free speech," he said.

"Presumably two songs should be played, one for gay marriage and one against gay marriage."

No doubt to Dutton's disappointment there was room for only one song at the grand final.

But it didn't stop some from changing their tune this week.

The NSW Law Society backed away from its support of same-sex marriage this week, by clarifying in a statement its public support for the move does not represent its 30,000 members.

Fairfax reports the professional body for the state's solicitors came under sustained pressure from a small but vocal group of members.

The Coalition for Marriage was singing a slightly different song too, with the launch of an app directing its supporters to the houses of undecided voters in an effort to sway their votes.

The move came a week after loud complaints about the 'yes' campaign's text message advertisement, which itself came a week after 'vote no' was scrawled across Sydney's sky.

Despite stepping up its advertising campaign while somehow avoiding tripping over its own double standards, the 'no' side has has had a whole other set of woes.

The group was left without a venue for a 'No' campaign event in Tasmania, with campaigners claiming the Wrest Point Casino cancelled its booking and University of Tasmania refused to take them on.

And out of all this noise came some realpolitik from former Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke, who described Malcolm Turnbull's $122 million survey as the "worst economic decision made by any Prime Minister since federation".

"It cannot produce a decision. It still requires a vote of the Parliament, whatever the result of the vote is," he said.

With the ABS expected publish its results on November 15, a bill to change the marriage act could be before parliament by the first week of December.

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