Indeed, the last time I spoke to you about Australia, the government had planned to hold a plebiscite: it would ask the Australians to give their opinion on a law without leading to a vote, unlike a referendum.
So this plebiscite is a voluntary mail-in ballot. Australian citizens are invited to vote for or against marriage equality by a voluntary ballot that they can deposit in mailboxes.
The ballots are expected before November 7 with results to be published later in November by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
A few weeks ago, Liberal Party tried to get a mandatory plebiscite, but that failed. Know that it would have cost more money and would have encouraged anti-gay campaigns, which many legislators did not want.
This plebiscite remains important. The government announced that if the results of the plebiscite is a yes vote in favor of marriage equality, then the government would introduce a bill in Parliament. Nevertheless, let's remain cautious. There is no legal obligation to abide by a vote and with the Australian government, one begins to get used to seeing it backtracking when it comes to marriage equality.
Pending the results, on August 26, a mass wedding will be held in Melbourne to protest against the lack of legalization of marriage equality in Australia.
Organized by Equal Love Melbourne, this mass wedding will take place 13 years after the Australian government amended the Marriage Act to prohibit same-sex marriages.
In a statement, the organizers said: "Australia is one of the few remaining Western countries in which LGBTI [people] are prohibited from marrying.
"Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull refuses to risk his leadership by standing up to the right-wing of his party on this important issue of civil rights, despite the majority of both houses of parliament supporting reform.
"Couples who would like to make a public declaration of their commitment are welcome to take part in the mass illegal wedding. Equal Love will be issuing marriage certificates to all couples who decide to mark this occasion by becoming illegally wed."