Out Liberal senator Dean Smith on Thursday introduced a bill that seeks to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry in Australia.

Smith's bill comes just a day after results of a national survey on marriage equality were announced. An overwhelming majority (61.6%) of respondents voted “yes” to a change in the law.

(Related: After vote, Australia's Malcolm Turnbull promises marriage equality before Christmas.)

In introducing his bill, Smith said that LGBT people often face the hurdle of self-acceptance and that marriage is vital because “nothing speaks more of acceptance than marriage.”

Conservatives are expected to push for amendments that protect religious freedom and undermine the rights of gay couples.

“Amendments that seek to address other issues or which seek to deny gay and lesbian Australians with the full rights, responsibilities and privileges that they already have will be strenuously opposed,” Smith said.

“Australians did not vote for equality before the law so that equality before the law that is already gained be stripped away,” he added.

Marriage equality supporters are aiming to pass a bill through both houses of parliament before lawmakers break for the holidays on December 7.