Australian Court Clears the Way For Same-Sex Marriage Postal Vote

(CANBERRA, Australia) — Australians will be surveyed on their support for gay marriage from next week after the nation’s highest court dismissed challenges to the government’s power to conduct the postal ballot without Senate permission.

Gay rights advocates argued in a two-day emergency hearing in the High Court in Melbourne that ended Wednesday that the government did not have the constitutional power to survey the public through a 122 million Australian dollar ($97 million) postal ballot on whether the prohibition on same-sex marriage should be lifted.

The judges on Thursday dismissed both cases argued by separate groups of rights advocates.

The government has already gone to the expense of starting to print the ballot papers, which are to be posted to more than 16 million voters nationwide from Tuesday.

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