The ABC’s Victoria Derbyshire reported on the latest developments in the fight for equal marriage.
The debate has been going on for nearly a decade.
But in December last year, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples were legally entitled to marry.
It also struck down some of the key provisions of the law, including the right to marry and the right of a person to change their name.
It gave same-year marriages the green light, but allowed the government to impose an age restriction on same-gender couples.
But now the issue has escalated.
It is not just the debate that has exploded in the last couple of years, but also the fact that the federal government has been running the risk of losing a legal battle that is not about marriage at all but a battle about a woman’s right to access a toilet.
This year, when the issue of same-age marriages was being debated, the Greens’ Greg Barber and the National Party’s Pauline Hanson took to the streets of Canberra to protest against what they perceived as a government’s attempt to take away the right for women to use the toilet in public places.
“We’ve got a very big issue in Australia today,” Mr Barber said.
Queensland’s same-day same-marriage bill, passed in December, also passed the Senate, where it was voted down by just a single vote.
But this week, the government announced it would hold another debate on the bill on February 22.
The opposition Labor Party is backing a motion from Labor backbencher David Shoebridge, which says the government should move quickly to legislate same-date marriages to replace the existing age limit.
That is a big change, given the age limit has been in place since 1975.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the government’s new legislation would not “open the door to same-dated weddings”.
“What we’re really saying is this government has to get its act together,” he said.
“It has to act on the issue, it has to implement the legislation, it’s got to be serious about it.”
Mr Shorten has been pushing for same-style marriages in the past, but he has been slow to support them in the current parliament.
Senator Barber said that when Labor and the Greens took to Canberra last week to protest about the bill, the Liberal-National Coalition was not happy.
“[They] were the party that brought the marriage bill forward, and they’ve got to respect that,” he told the ABC.
Mr Shoebridger said it was not only the government that was in a bit of a mess.
“We’re getting people from the Labor Party and other political parties to come out of the woodwork to say they’re in favour of it, but we’re not seeing a majority of people in our caucus or caucus-mates that are supporting the legislation,” he added.