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How same-sex marriage plebiscite works

AAP logoAAP 13/09/2016 Rashida Yosufzai

HOW WILL THE PLEBISCITE WORK?

Like a referendum and voting for elections, it will be a compulsory to vote. Pre-polling will be available. A simple majority of votes - 50 per cent plus one vote - will determine the outcome.

WHAT WILL PEOPLE BE ASKED?

Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?

WHEN WILL IT BE HELD?

Saturday, February 11, subject to legislation clearing federal parliament.

WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW?

A bill to allow the plebiscite to happen will be introduced to the House of Representatives this week.

WILL THERE BE MONEY FOR BOTH SIDES TO ARGUE THEIR CASE?

There'll be a yes and no advertising committee, with $7.5 million provided to each side.

The committee will consist of 10 MPs - two government, one crossbench and two Labor. Five non-parliamentarian members can put their hand up via public submissions and will then be appointed by the attorney-general and special minister of state.

CAN YOU DONATE TO THE CAMPAIGN?

Both campaigns will get tax deductibility status similar to contributions to a political party, capped at $1500.

WHAT HAPPENS IF PEOPLE VOTE YES TO LEGALISE GAY MARRIAGE?

It won't be a self-executing plebiscite, i.e. first there'll be a public vote and then draft laws will be introduced to parliament to make the change happen.

If it's yes, the attorney-general will introduce amendments to the Marriage Act to give effect to that outcome as soon as a result is clear.

WILL ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAWS BE SUSPENDED?

No.

WHAT'S NEW?

New communications such as robocalls and SMS messaging will be subject to the same rules as election ads.

The three-day blackout on advertising material will apply to internet ads as well.

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