CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- The Latest on the Australian gay marriage postal survey (all times local):
Australians have said they support gay marriage in a postal survey that ensures the Parliament considers a bill to legalize same-sex weddings this year.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday 62 percent of registered adults who responded had voted for the reform in an unprecedented two-month survey.
The conservative government had promised to allow the Parliament to consider a bill to create marriage equality in Australia in its final two-week session that is due to end on Dec. 7.
While gay marriage could be a reality in Australia by Christmas, some government lawmakers have vowed to vote down gay marriage regardless of the survey's outcome.
Australian lawmakers who fear a national survey will reveal that most voters want marriage equality are moving to wind back anti-discrimination laws to reduce barriers for people who would boycott gay weddings.
Almost 80 percent of Australia's registered voters have responded to a postal survey on whether Parliament should lift the country's prohibition on same-sex marriage. Opinions polls show most Australians support gay marriage.
The survey results will be announced on Wednesday, but debate is intensifying on whether Australians who would refuse to provide gay weddings with a celebrant, venue, flowers or a cake should have added protection against anti-discrimination laws.