Australians have voted an overwhelming YES to marriage equality, with 61.6 per cent of more than 12 million voters supporting changes to the marriage laws.
Gay couples in love will be able to legally wed for the first time in Australian history as a result of today’s vote, achieving equal rights with their heterosexual counterparts.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics have confirmed, in an announcement that gripped the nation, that the majority of Australians support changes to the Marriage Act under the Constitution to allow for same-sex couples to wed.
After today’s vote, gay marriage is set to be legislated by the end of this year.
The introduction of same-sex marriage will be a major legacy of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who has supported gay marriage for a long time.
“My views are very, very well-known and have been for a long time,” he said.
“Now, it’s under my prime ministership that all Australians have been given a say on this issue.
“We have had an 80 per cent turnout. Amazing. Extraordinary. Vastly beyond everyone’s expectations.”
Meanwhile Tony Abbott Facebooked his congratulations to the Yes campaign.
“I always said this was an issue where the Australian people wanted their say and today’s result demonstrates that seeking their views was the right thing to do,” he said.
“The people have spoken and, of course, the parliament should respect the result”.
The announcement prompted emotional scenes at Sydney’s yes camp with high profile campaigners Ian Thorpe, Magda Szubanski, Kerry Phelps and Christine Forster celebrating the emphatic victory.
Cr Forster – Tony Abbott’s sister – took to the stage shortly after the result was announced to reveal there had been a 75 per cent yes vote in her brother’s Warringah electorate.
In a heartfelt speech Thorpe declared that the victory would empower a generation of young people.
“What got us here today are three words- passion, determination and courage,” he said.
“We didn’t need a survey to know the will of the Australia people but we dealt with it. We have waited long enough.”
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