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Same-sex weddings by Christmas: Greens

AAP logoAAP 30/08/2016 Rashida Yosufzai

Wedding bells for same-sex couples could be ringing before the new year bells under a crossbench bill to legalise gay marriage, the Greens say.

Adam Bandt is teaming up with fellow lower house crossbenchers Andrew Wilkie and Cathy McGowan on a private same-sex marriage bill.

The Greens MP says it's a good alternative for when the government's plan for a plebiscite fails.

"There needs to be a plan B and the plan B is sitting right under (Malcolm Turnbull's nose)," he told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

"We could be seeing weddings happening before the new year bells are rung."

Labor has flagged its own marriage equality bill that will be tabled by leaders Bill Shorten and Tanya Plibersek.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is having none of it.

"The question really for (Bill) Shorten on this issue is does he want same-sex couples to be able to marry or does he want to keep on playing politics," he told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

"Whatever Mr Shorten's reservations about the plebiscite may be, it's a very, very clear road to enable same-sex couples to get married."

The Greens, Nick Xenophon's team and Derryn Hinch say they will block the government's bill to allow a plebiscite on the matter in the Senate.

That means the government needs Labor's support even though the opposition has been strengthening its stance against a plebiscite.

Mr Bandt believes there are many coalition backbenchers prepared to cross the floor.

But at least one says there's no chance of that.

"Zero," Liberal MP Andrew Laming said of that likelihood.

Labor backbencher Graham Perrett says both bills could be consolidated into one.

"We don't need an avalanche of same-sex legislation."

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