Tony Abbott is already campaigning against gay marriage in a postal vote

Tony Abbott. Photo: Stefan Postles/ Getty Images.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott is urging the public to vote “no” in a postal plebiscite on same-sex marriage.

On Wednesday, Abbott, a long-standing supporter of traditional marriage, kicked off his “no” campaign, arguing that it will protect religious freedom and reject political correctness.

“If you don’t like same-sex marriage, vote no. If you’re worried about religious freedom and freedom of speech, vote no, and if you don’t like political correctness, vote no because voting no will help to stop political correctness in its tracks,” he said on Wednesday.

Others opposing the same-sex marriage have also started campaigning, some distributing leaflets claiming the children of same-sex parents are more prone to “abuse and neglect”.

Abbott is responsible for the Coalition’s original plebiscite policy in 2015, crafted shortly before he was replaced by Malcolm Turnbull.

This week the Turnbull proposed holding a $122 million non-compulsory, non-binding plebiscite on whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

The postal vote will not be compulsory and likely be sent out in September. Votes would be due by November 7. It may be subject to a High Court challenge.

More here.