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Same sex marriage legal by Christmas if yes succeeds

PM Malcolm Turnbull did a Facebook Live with news.com.au. Picture Kym Smith
PM Malcolm Turnbull did a Facebook Live with news.com.au. Picture Kym Smith

PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull says that same-sex marriage will be legal by Christmas if the Yes vote is successful.

Mr Turnbull told our sister site news.com.au during a Facebook Live that if there was a majority Yes result in the postal survey, a private members bill would be introduced into parliament and would 'sail through'.

"We've got the ABS survey, it's been really well received, nearly 70 per cent of the people who were sent the ballots have returned them already, so it's a massive participation," he said.

"If there is a Yes vote, then we will ensure there is a private members bill to legalise same-sex marriage and I have no doubt the parliament will deal with that before we all break up in December."

When pressed by news.com.au editor-at-large Joe Hildebrand about whether it would definitely be resolved, Mr Turnbull answered: "It will, it absolutely will".

"I can assure you politicians are very alert to public opinion (so) if 70 plus per cent of population vote and the majority vote yes, parliament will respond," Mr Turnbull said.

"The commitment that I made ... was that if the majority of those Australians who vote, vote Yes, then we'll ensure there's a private members bill.

"Members of the government will be free to vote as they wish ... and it will sail through the parliament, believe me."

RELATED: Poll shows Australians have overwhelmingly voted Yes

Hildebrand interviewed Mr Turnbull in Sydney this afternoon and readers were able to submit questions as part of the live session.

News.com.au editor-at-large Joe Hildebrand interviews Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during a Facebook Live session.
News.com.au editor-at-large Joe Hildebrand interviews Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during a Facebook Live session.

During the interview Mr Turnbull was also asked about the Victorian Government's passing of bill in the lower house to legalise euthanasia.

The Prime Minister said there was no doubt it was a "big development".

"I'm not a supporter of euthanasia but I've been following the debate," he said.

"I think it will be interesting to see if the upper house passes it."

When asked later why he didn't support euthanasia, Mr Turnbull said: "I'm just not persuaded".

While he said he understood the complexity of the problem, it's just not something he would vote for.

Mr Turnbull said the Federal Government would also not be able to override Victorian law.

"Federal law prevails over a state law but only in an area that both the Commonwealth and the state parliament have jurisdiction, so you've got to begin with an area where the federal parliament has jurisdiction," he said.

Mr Turnbull was also asked about a letter Australia had received from North Korea asking it to turn against US President Donald Trump, which he described as a "rant".

"It wasn't terribly respectful but it was more of a rant I think," he said.

"It was a pretty enraged rant about what they allege are the shortcomings of President Trump but it's consistent with that they do."

Mr Turnbull said the government had not yet replied to the letter, saying: "I'm not sure whether we will."

But he said the government would give it "careful consideration".

The Prime Minister was also asked about energy issues, the rise of China and e-cigarettes but perhaps one of the most pressing issues was raised by one news.com.au reader Brett who wanted to know whether the PM took the gherkin off his cheeseburger.

"No, I eat it," was the PM's reply.

Topics:  editors picks malcolm turnbull parliament same sex marriage


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