A federal Liberal MP, pushing for a parliamentary vote on same-sex marriage, has rejected Tony Abbott's claim the issue is about political correctness.
Trent Zimmerman is encouraging Australians to have their say in the government's planned postal plebiscite, despite it not being his first option to settle the long-running debate.
"We do have a pathway now that will see this issue resolved before Christmas," he told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.
Asked about Mr Abbott's claim, the openly-gay MP says the issue is not about political correctness.
"This is simply about whether every loving relationship should be treated equally before the law," Mr Zimmerman said.
Nationals MP Andrew Broad, who has threatened to quit the government if the coalition changes its plebiscite policy, is pleased Australians can still have their say.
Asked about a possible boycott of the postal ballot, the MP told reporters: "There were people who chose not to vote for Donald Trump because they walked away from it, and they got Donald Trump didn't they?"
"Democracy is something that is a gift."
Deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop says the ballot is an opportunity for Australians to have their say, but refused to outline her personal position.
"I'll be talking with my electorate, with the people in my constituency and I'll be encouraging them to lodge a postal vote," she told reporters.
Labor frontbencher Penny Wong, who made an emotion-charged plea during a speech in parliament on Wednesday for "no" campaigners to leave children out of the debate, is hoping good-hearted Australians prevail.
"My experience ... is that most Australians are far more generous spirited, have a lot more honour than many of the people who are arguing this in the parliament from the other side," Senator Wong told Sky News.
"I worry about those not of good heart and want to use children as political pawns in this debate, and I think that is objectionable, it's also illogical.
"It's a pretty low way to approach this debate."
Treasurer Scott Morrison defended the $122 million price tag of the postal ballot, insisting "keeping promises is money well spent".
Labor's finance spokesman Jim Chalmers dismissed that claim as "telling".
"If Scott Morrison thinks wasting $122 million on a divisive and harmful and non-binding opinion poll is money well spent, is there any wonder that the budget is in such awful condition on his watch," he said.