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A man holds up a rainbow flag at the end of the annual Gay Pride parade in Panama City, Saturday, July, 1, 2017. . (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

Australia will hold a vote to decide on a same-sex marriage law



Australia will hold a national vote to legalize same-sex marriage, after lawmakers, who are supportive of the marriages, restarted the debate on the issue.

For nine-months, same-sex marriage has been a highly-contested issue. Despite the broad support for same-sex marriage among Australians, the upper house Senate rejected a government proposal on the issue last year.

Politicians in the governing Liberal National coalition met on Monday in a closed-door meeting in Canberra to reintroduce legislation to support same-sex marriage, CNN reported.

The Liberal Party's MP Dean Smith drafted a bill which would make same-sex marriage legal in Australia, but allow priests to refuse to marry whoever they wished.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann told reporters that the government would re-introduce the same legislation, but will include a contingency plan if the upper house decides to block the bill.

"Our preference is to have a compulsory attendance plebiscite," Cormann told reporters in Canberra, Australia's capital.

"If that were to fail, the government believes that we have a legal and constitutional way forward that gives the Australian people a say on whether or not the definition of marriage should be changed."

The Canada, South Africa,United Kingdom, France and the United States are among the nations who have already legislated in favor of same-sex marriage.

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