Source – AAP

A senior Turnbull minister has rejected criticism from John Howard of the government’s handling of the same-sex marriage debate.

The former prime minister has complained that the government has not detailed how to deal with parental rights, freedom of speech, and religious freedom in the event of a bill to legalise same-sex marriage following the postal survey.

Howard says there will be “scant opportunity” for serious consideration of protection for the issues.

Cabinet minister Christopher Pyne said “of course” the government wasn’t washing it hands of its responsibility, as Mr Howard has asserted.

Mr Pyne said Howard is allowed to campaign in the debate as much as anybody else.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics is aiming to get the survey forms out to 16 million voters by September 25, with the first arriving in mailboxes earlier in the week.