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  • Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey


    The Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey was a national survey designed to gauge support for legalising same-sex marriage in Australia. The survey was held via the postal service between 12 September and 7 November 2017. Unlike voting in elections and referendums, which is compulsory in Australia, responding to the survey was voluntary. A survey form, instructions, and a reply-paid envelope were mailed out by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to every person on the federal electoral roll, asking the question "Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?" The ABS outlined processes to ensure eligible Australians lacking access to post could participate. The survey returned 7,817,247 (61.6%) "Yes" responses and 4,873,987 (38.4%) "No" responses. An additional 36,686 (0.3%) responses were unclear and the total turnout was 12,727,920 (79.5%). Prior to the survey, the Liberal–National Coalition government had pledged to facilitate a private member's bill to legalise same-sex marriage in the Parliament in the event of a "Yes" outcome. This allowed parliamentary debate and a vote eventually leading to the legalisation of same-sex marriage. Both the Coalition and the opposition Labor Party allowed their MPs a conscience vote on the relevant legislation. Had the survey returned a majority "No" result, the government said it would not allow a parliamentary debate or vote on legalising same-sex marriage. Many same-sex marriage proponents were critical of the postal survey, viewing it as a costly delay and legally redundant to holding a conscience vote on same-sex marriage in the parliament. The survey was subject to two legal challenges questioning the authority of the ABS to conduct the survey and the government's right to fund the cost of the survey from funds designated by law for "urgent" and "unforeseen" circumstances. Both legal challenges failed; the High Court of Australia found that the survey was lawful. Adults on the electoral roll in Australia as of 24 August 2017 were eligible to participate. By this date 98,000 new voters had added themselves to the roll, which was at a record high. Survey forms were distributed from 12 September with the ABS encouraging returns promptly (preferably to be received before 27 October to ensure sufficient processing time). The survey closed on 7 November and the results were released on 15 November. The Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017, which legalised same-sex marriage, came into effect on 9 December.

  • Have a nice day


    "Smile have a nice day" sign in alt=photographHave a nice day is a commonly spoken expression used to conclude a conversation (whether brief or extensive), or end a message by hoping the person to whom it is addressed experiences a pleasant day. Since it is often uttered by service employees to customers at the end of a transaction, particularly in Israel and the United States, its repetitious and dutiful usage has resulted in the phrase developing, according to some journalists and scholars, especially outside of these two countries, a cultural connotation of impersonality, lack of interest, passive–aggressive behavior, or sarcasm. The phrase is generally not used in Europe, as some find it artificial or even offensive. Critics of the phrase characterize it as an imperative, obliging the person to have a nice day. Other critics argue that it is a parting platitude that comes across as pretended. While defenders of the phrase agree that "Have a nice day" can be used insincerely, they consider the phrase to be comforting, in that it improves interactions among people. Others favor the phrase because it does not require a response.

  • Chinese pre-wedding customs


    Chinese pre-wedding customs are traditional Chinese rituals prescribed by the 禮記 láih gei (Book of Rites), the 儀禮 yìh láih (Book of Etiquette and Ceremonial) and the 白虎通 baahk fú tùng (Bai Hu Tong) condensed into a series of rituals now known as the 三書六禮 sàam syù luhk láih (Three Letters and Six Rites). Traditionally speaking, a wedding that incorporates all 6 rites is considered a daaih chéui (complete wedding, dà qǔ). The six traditional rites involved in a Chinese wedding are as follows: naahp chói (nacai)- formal proposal muhn mìhng (wenming) - giving of the eight characters of prospective bride to the groom’s side naahp gàt (naji) - placement of the eight characters at the ancestral altar to confirm compatibility naahp jìng (nazheng) - sending of betrothal gifts to the bride and return gifts to the prospective groom 請期 chíng kèih (qingqi) - selection of an auspicious wedding date 親迎 chàn yìhng (qinying) - wedding ceremony

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