Australia has voted to bring marriage equality Down Under with 61.6% of the vote. While the survey itself is not legally binding, Australia’s prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has vowed the momentum of a YES vote would cause a bill to legalize marriage equality to “sail through” parliament, with a goal of passing marriage equality by the end of the year.
Speaking after the result, Turnbull said it had been an “overwhelming” response in favor of “yes” and called for same-sex marriage to be legalized before Christmas.
“They voted ‘yes’ for fairness, they voted ‘yes’ for commitment, they voted ‘yes’ for love. And now it is up to us here in the Parliament of Australia to get on with it,” he told reporters in Canberra.
The voluntary postal survey was held between September 12 and November 7, with the results announced today. The postal survey came after years of stalled efforts to bring marriage equality to Australia. After the country’s governing party refused to allow a conscience vote on the issue in parliament, it took the controversial step to introduce this expensive, voluntary postal survey in an attempt to settle the issue. The survey was widely criticized for once again delaying the arrival of marriage equality, but today’s results are clear proof that the majority of Australians want marriage equality to become the law of the land.
“We congratulate Australia’s LGBTQ advocates and allies who worked so hard to ensure a victory in this postal survey,” said Ty Cobb, director of HRC Global. “It’s crucial that loving, committed same-sex couples in Australia have the same rights and protections that come with marriage. We urge the Australian Parliament to take swift action ensuring marriage equality becomes the law of the land.”
Anti-equality politicians and activists in Australia have already launched a plan to distort these results by rallying behind a marriage bill that would override non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ Australians through religious exemptions.
“With the rising tide of anti-LGBTQ laws and crackdowns around the world, citizens of Australia stood up for fairness and equality by supporting the right for everyone to marry the person they love,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO. “Now it is on the Australian government to heed the will of its people and pass fully equal marriage without exemptions.”
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