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Australia's Same-Sex Marriage Survey Is Almost Finished, And Every Vote Counts

Post your same-sex marriage vote on Friday to ensure it's counted.

27/10/2017 12:59 PM AEDT | Updated 27/10/2017 12:59 PM AEDT
Lisa Maree Williams via Getty Images
Protesters look on during the yes March for Marriage Equality on October 21, 2017 in Sydney, Australia.

You need to do two things by the end of Friday, October 27.

1) Post your same-sex marriage survey ballot back to the Australian Bureau of Statistics by the end of Friday to ensure it gets counted; and

2) Quietly stoke your rage in case politicians try to delay a parliamentary vote on marriage equality, as some are hinting.

There are just weeks to go until Australia finds out the result of its controversial same-sex marriage survey, a vote asking people to decide if their neighbours should have the right to marry who they love.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics wants final ballots sent on Friday to ensure they're received on time by November 7, after which no ballots will be counted ahead of the published result a week later.

And what a ride it has been.

The ups have so far seen more than 74.5 percent of the country's 16 million voters take part, while private polling consistently suggest 'yes' is well ahead. The turnout rate exceeds the rate the UK recorded for its Brexit referendum last year, according to ABC election analyst Antony Green.

It's also exceeded the rates for the UK general election this year and the 2015 Irish marriage equality referendum. This is all set against a backdrop of tens of thousands of marriage equality supporters rallying on the streets around the country last weekend.

But all rides have low points, and some falls are just divine.

While Mark Latham, prominent 'no' campaigner Lyle Shelton and columnist Miranda Devine struggled to stay on stage at a 'no' debate, Australian Conservatives Senator Cory Bernardi hinted that conservatives will try to delay passage of a same-sex marriage bill if even Australia votes 'yes'.

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney is maintaining his opposition, this week saying religious believers would be vulnerable to discrimination suits and career losses if same-sex marriage is legalised.

On Thursday the 'No' Campaign was forced to distance itself from one of its own spokesmen, after David Van Gend gave an extraordinary radio interview in which he described homosexuality as "a disordered form of behaviour".

And in a sinister display of contempt, razor blades were found in some returned ballot envelopes, along with dirt (and glitter in others).

Meanwhile the City of Sydney has courted controversy by offering free marriages to gay couples -- but not straight ones -- at some of Sydney's most prominent buildings and parks.

And so tensions remain high between advocates of either side of the marriage equality debate.

But away from the lunatic fringe, civil debate forced people to face some hard truths.

Actor Magda Szubanski took on the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, for imposing "God's design for all people" on those who choose to marry outside of the Church.

"We live in a live and let live society I don't want to tell anyone else what to do," Szubanski said.

"Why should you have the right to tell me or any other person, straight or gay, what they do in the civil domain?

"That's not your domain."

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