Barnaby Joyce: 'get out of my face'
DEPUTY Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has hit out at both sides of the gay marriage debate saying Australians are already "sick" of being yelled at by activists.
His remarks come after tens of thousands of people mobilised in Sydney yesterday to lobby for the 'Yes' vote, including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.
Meanwhile, the Coalition government is working with the Opposition to set ground rules for the debate that will be tougher than any general election.
"(Australians have) made up their mind, they've got it worked out, they're going to send their ballot back," Mr Joyce told ABC radio on Monday.
"Sometimes I believe on both sides the advocacy is doing more to harm them than to help."
Mr Joyce personally wants to keep the existing definition of marriage but will not stand in the way of a 'yes' result when a private bill is put to parliament.
"I just don't want people standing on the corner yelling at me, telling me if I don't agree with them then I'm somehow less than human," he said.
"Get out of my face."
Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus this morning revealed Labor wants safeguards against hate speech, bribery and fraud in the postal vote campaigns.
"Labor has asked the government to include a provision that would ban vilification - hate speech - and it looks at this stage like the government is prepared to agree to that," Mr Dreyfus told ABC radio.
"We haven't yet hit on the final form of words but those negotiations are going to continue today."
Anti-bribery and anti-fraud provisions are also being considered, along with measures to force all campaign material to state who it was authorised by.
"I think most people would agree we want to see people put a name to statements that they make and advertisements that they put out, and what's broadcast," Mr Dreyfus said.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten spoke at a rally in support for marriage equality in Sydney. Picture: AAP
The authorisation provisions would be the same as for general elections.
"For this survey, which is unique in Australian political history - we of course think it is an unnecessary political survey - but if it's going to take place, and it is now going to take place, we need to make sure that it is conducted as respectfully, as fairly, as gracefully as that's possible," Mr Dreyfus said.
The safeguards must be put before Parliament this week or the next opportunity will be during the next sitting period in mid-October.
Survey forms with the question "Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?" will be mailed to voters from tomorrow.
They'll have the option to tick a "yes" or "no" box and the result will be announced on November 15.
If the majority of Australians voted yes like him, a private member's bill will go to parliament, which Mr Turnbull predicted would "sail through".