A majority of Australians voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage in a two-month national post survey. The results released Wednesday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics have revealed that 61.6 percent of the population voted yes and 38.4 percent voted no.
Of the eligible Australians who expressed a view on this question, 61.6 per cent (7,817,247) supported changing the law to allow same-sex couples to marry and 38.4 per cent (4,873,987) did not. pic.twitter.com/PcaA3PgyvM— AU Bureau of Stats (@ABSStats) 14 ноября 2017 г.
"The Australian people have spoken, and they have voted overwhelmingly 'yes' for marriage equality. They voted 'yes' for fairness, they voted 'yes' for commitment, they voted 'yes' for love," Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said.
Turnbull also said that now it is up to the parliament to "get the job done" by the end of the year.
The people of Australia have spoken and I intend to make their wish the law of the land by Christmas. This is an overwhelming call for marriage equality. pic.twitter.com/PWZbH5H71r— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) 14 ноября 2017 г.
Although the survey is not legally binding, it is expected to pave the way for Australia to legalize same-sex marriage.
Alex Greenwich, a state lawmaker from New South Wales and the co-chairman of Australian Marriage Equality, said that the results of the vote delivered "an unequivocal mandate for Parliament to legislate this bill as soon as possible, for a fair bill this year."
At least seven members of the Australian parliament have publicly said they would vote against a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, according to a report by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Most lawmakers, however, have said they would support such legislation.
Thousands of marriage equality supporters took to the streets across the country, celebrating when the results were announced.
There have also been congratulations from around the world.
Love wins in Australia! Thrilled to hear Australians have voted in favour of legalizing same-sex marriage. #MarriageEquality— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) 15 ноября 2017 г.
Congratulations Australia! Another important step toward equality for all. 🇦🇺 #MarriageEquality— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) 15 ноября 2017 г.
Congratulations to Australia on their incredible show of support for #marriageequality! What an amazing achievement for the Australian LGBTIQ* Community.— New Zealand Labour (@nzlabour) 15 ноября 2017 г.
Australians have long been in favor of marriage equality, but authorities have insisted they wanted to keep the traditional definition in law. An attempt to hold a national vote under former Prime Minister Tony Abbott was unsuccessful due to a lack of funding. In August, Turnbull said a national mail survey would be held.
However, the decision was criticized by country’s LGBT community, saying that the matter should not be the subject of such a vote and has asked that the government decide this question.