The Australian government plans to gauge support for same-sex marriage through a voluntary postal ballot after its divisive bill for a compulsory vote was again rejected by the Senate.
If the postal vote goes ahead and shows support for changing the law, the results will not be legally binding.
However, the Australia Prime, Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said it could prompt a parliamentary vote to legalize same-sex marriage this year.
The postal plebiscite, as it is known, has been criticized by opponents as an unnecessary delay in resolving the debate, which they say could be settled immediately in parliament.
The Australia government had hoped to hold a compulsory national plebiscite, which, like the postal version, would not have bound MPs to a position.
Mr Turnbull’s ruling conservative Coalition, which is split on the issue, believes a postal vote can be held without parliamentary approval.
Recent polls have regularly shown a majority of people favour changing the law.
According to one released last week, sixty seven percent of women and fifty nine percent of men want to see same-sex marriage legalized.
The government has said ballots could be sent to Australians as early as 12 September while responses would be due by 7 November, and the result would be public by 25 November this year.