Same-sex marriage: Cabinet opposed release of bill before postal survey, says Dutton


The government won't be releasing details of marriage law changes before the postal survey because cabinet decided so, says Peter Dutton.

Conservative Liberal frontbencher Peter Dutton says the cabinet made a firm decision not to release full details of same-sex marriage laws until after the postal survey.

There have been calls from "no" case advocates such as former prime minister John Howard for the government to release the draft private member's bill which would be brought to parliament in the event of a majority "yes" vote.

That way those arguing the "yes" and "no" cases could also debate the contents of the legislation, including protections against infringements to religious freedom and freedom of speech.

Treasurer Scott Morrison said on Monday the bill would not be released.

Mr Dutton, who like Mr Morrison is advocating a "no" vote, went further on Tuesday telling Sky News it was a "decision the cabinet has taken" that the bill would be released after the survey and only if there was a majority "yes" vote.

The immigration minister said the bill would include religious freedom protections.

But he expected some MPs and same-sex marriage advocates would argue against such protections.

"People have a right to believe in religion ... I'm not going to stand by and allow these fringe elements to attack what is a fundamental element of society," he said.

He called on all sides to engage in a respectful debate.

Most of the 16 million postal survey forms should be sent out by the end of this week, with a result announced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on November 15.

The latest Essential poll published on Tuesday found 55 per cent support for allowing same-sex couples to marry, with 34 per cent against and 11 per cent not expressing a view.

Coalition voters were 47 per cent in favour and 42 per cent against.

Source AAP

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