Fiji Time: 1:34 PM on Friday 23 March

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Same-sex marriage vote begins

Thursday, September 14, 2017

SYDNEY - Australia on Tuesday launched a postal vote on whether to legalise same-sex marriage as a widely watched poll indicated the country would be overwhelmingly in support.

The non-compulsory ballot, which runs until the end of October, will determine whether Australia becomes the 25th country to legalise same-sex marriage, while also healing a rift in the government.

Despite securing 70 per cent public support in an Ipsos/Fairfax poll on Tuesday, the issue of same-sex marriage had faced a political deadlock, only broken last week when the High Court gave the all-clear for the vote.

The poll illustrates why parliament should simply vote to approve same-sex marriage without holding the national ballot, opposition Labor leader Bill Shorten said.

"Change in this country only ever happens when people participate in the change," Mr Shorten told reporters in Canberra.

"Please don't leave this change to other people."

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