The cross-party bill to enshrine same-sex marriage faces an uphill battle, with George Brandis already promising a move to protect ‘conscientious objection’

The attorney general, George Brandis, has said he will move a new amendment to allow civil celebrants to reject same-sex weddings as the Coalition gears up for a legislative fight about extending religious protections beyond the cross-party bill.

After the Australian Bureau of Statistics announced that 61.6% of people had voted in favour of same-sex marriage, the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, warned that because of the “overwhelming” result, parliament must now deliver marriage equality – and he expected it to be law by Christmas.

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