It has been a source of contention between more open-minded Australians and their notoriously conservative government, something that has been granted already to a lot of countries in the world that have English as one of their official languages. Certain Australian celebrities like pop idol Kylie Minogue have spoken out against the numerous barriers that they feel have greatly stifled the LGBT community Down Under. Ultimately however, a national postal survey was carried out asking Aussies if they would like same-sex marriage to be approved in the country. The answer that came back: Gay marriage in Australia is a go.
CNN Philippines reports that the results for the mailed-in survey votes were announced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday, November 15. In it, 61% of the survey responders voted to allow same-sex marriage in Australia, with 38% voting against the measure. It has been determined that the total number of survey responders amounted to 12.7 million people, or 79.5% of Australia’s population across every state and territory. That makes the 61% “Yes” vote a majority, spurring the government to finally begin legislation on legalizing same-sex marriage in the country.
Celebrations erupted with gatherings in every major Australian city, but more so in Melbourne. Hundreds of the city’s LGBT community gathered with supporters to hear the results being released, and the announcement of “Yes” winning resulted in fireworks with rainbow-colored smoke, confetti showers, and loud cheers from a sector of Australian society feeling their relationships finally gaining a modicum of legal protection.
Among the jubilant celebrants are an LGBT couple, Jane Mahoney, 28, and Josie Lennie, 26, who hugged each other with tears in their eyes at the survey’s triumphant result. Asked by CNN what they plan to do next, they simply answered that they would tie the knot, and would likely wait for a few gay weddings to take place first while they look them over for ideas to use on their own ceremony.
With the will of the people known, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Trumbull accepted the survey results of an overwhelming “Yes” vote, and called on the Parliament to complete legislation legalizing same-sex marriages before Christmastime. Speaking to reporters, Trumbull, who called for the national postal vote back in August, remarked that the public voted “Yes” for fairness, commitment and love, and now it was Parliament’s turn to see things done.
The mail-in survey started on September 12 with forms sent out to all Aussies who are registered voters at the time. They had until November 7 to return the surveys with their votes.
Photo courtesy of motherjones.com