Just as the 'yes' campaign appears to have downed tools in the same-sex marriage vote, opponents announced they were tooling up for a longer battle.
Even if the the Federal Government's controversial $122 million survey on the limits of love returns an overwhelming 'yes' vote in the coming weeks, we'll likely be hearing 'no' for years to come.
At least one study of Twitter opinions points to a narrow defeat for the 'yes' vote, at odds with the 60 percent in favour expected by pollsters.
Former prime minister Tony Abbott, speaking in New York to the listed hate group Alliance Defending Freedom, said he believed the result of the postal survey could still "swing either way" and claimed a 40 percent vote would be a "moral victory" for traditional marriage.
Win or lose we are emboldened & we are not going to go away. https://t.co/5tA8K0ATvi— Lyle Shelton (@LyleShelton) November 1, 2017
"Win, lose, or draw, though, starting from scratch two months ago, the campaign for marriage in my country has mobilised thousands of new activists; and created a network that could be deployed to defend Western civilisation more broadly and the Judeo-Christian ethic against all that's been undermining it," he is reported to have said.
— Nine News Australia (@9NewsAUS) October 30, 2017
Meanwhile a group of conservative MPs is reportedly working on between 60 and 100 amendments to WA Senator Dean Smith's same-sex marriage legislation.
Conservative Tasmanian Senator Eric Abetz has said Smith's bill was "not acceptable as a starting point".
"It (the Bill) is seriously inadequate, as parents, freedom of speech and religious freedom, along with conscientious objection, all need full protection," Senator Abetz said. Fellow conservatives Andrew Hastie and Ian Goodenough are also reportedly mounting opposition.
"I don't want to legislate in haste": Bernardi hints at conservative plan to delay SSM if "yes" wins https://t.co/4HT0upDq4S— Lane Sainty (@lanesainty) October 26, 2017
Those on the 'yes' side may have downed their tools, but they'll pick them up again in the weeks and months ahead should political machinations swallow a parliamentary vote on same-sex marriage.
After November 15 the attention of this entire country will turn to Parliament, wrote Australian Marriage Equality co-chair Alex Greenwich and historian Shirleene Robinson for the HuffPost Australia on Friday.
"Having put their hearts and souls into this cause, Australians will not tolerate any more attempts to delay a positive reform that will bring our country together," they wrote.
"Just as loving same-sex couples want to honour their commitment to each other, the Australian government must honour its commitment to act on the results of this survey by Christmas."Suggest a correction