Australia has voted “overwhelmingly yes” to legalising same-sex marriage.
The vote showed that 61 per cent of people were in favour of allowing same-sex marriage, with just 38 per cent voting against, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Over 12 million people took part in the voluntary postal vote, with every state and territory returning a majority ‘yes’.
Campaigners and supporters of the campaign have been celebrating the results across Australia – waving rainbow flags, popping champagne corks and dancing and singing in the streets.
It was reported in September that Australia would hold a postal vote on whether it should legalise same-sex marriage. The vote did not mean that same-sex marriages would become legally binding, but it was hoped it would lead to legislation being voted on in Parliament.
The vote was controversial with many saying that the £75 million campaign would be a waste of money, while others believed it wouldn’t solve anything due to the vote not being compulsory, as in other Australian elections.
However, the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull is now aiming to get marriage equality through Parliament by Christmas. A bill to change the law was introduced to the Senate late on Wednesday and will now be debated for amendments.
Speaking after the results were announced, Turnbull said, “[Australians] have spoken in their millions and they have voted overwhelmingly yes for marriage equality.”
“They voted yes for fairness, yes for commitment, yes for love.”
“And now it is up to us here in the Parliament of Australia to get on with it.”
The Prime Minister is now aiming to get marriage equality through Parliament by Christmas.