Nearly 80 percent of voting-age Australians made their voices heard in a historic postal survey that could push Parliament to legalize gay marriage. The final results were clearly in favor of marriage equality, with 61.6 percent voting “yes” and 38.4 percent voting “no.” The response will reportedly put pressure on right-wing lawmakers, and Senator Dean Smith, who is gay, said he’ll introduce legislation immediately and has the votes to pass it. That means gay marriage in Australia could be legal by Christmas.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has gone against the opposition of his own, right-leaning party by repeatedly calling this the “fair” thing to do. After the vote, he said: “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.”
The response around the world has been joyous, with Twitter especially being delighted by the news as images the vote results were heard being shared by thousands.