News Brief: Australians Vote YES to Same-Sex Marriage!

by Aaron Shepard
in News
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News Brief Australians Votes YES to Same-Sex Marriage!

News Brief Australians Votes YES to Same-Sex Marriage!

News Brief:  Australians Votes YES to Same-Sex Marriage!

Australia has voted YES in a historic nationwide survey on same-sex marriage.  Almost 13 million Australians – 79.5% of the country – voted in the country’s non-binding postal ballot, a bigger turnout than even the UK’s EU referendum.

The historic vote follows in the footsteps of Ireland by endorsing same-sex marriage in a national vote.  Australia now looks likely to become the 25th country in the world to introduce marriage for same-sex couples.

Statistician David W Kalisch announced the results of the survey at 9am Australian Eastern Daylight Time, or around 5pm EST.  12,727,920 people responded to the survey with a response rate of 79 percent, which Mr Kalisch said was an “outstanding” turnout.  YES responses represented 61.6 percent of responses, with only 38.4 percent of the country voting NO.

Celebrations took place from early Wednesday morning as YES-campaign headquarters across Australia opened their doors ahead of the result.  The NO-campaign, conversely, conceded defeat, having previously said it would settle for a result over 40 percent, with Tony Abbott, former Prime Minister, claiming that would be a “moral” victory.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who is a personal supporter of the equality law, pledged that his government would support the move in the case of a Yes vote.  Turnbull has previously said same-sex couples could be married by the end of the year if voters back YES.

The decision, however, has to ultimately be approved by parliament.  The public vote is not legally binding, so both houses still need to pass legislation for it to become legal.