Australians Vote In Favor Of Legalizing Gay Marriage, Opening A Path For The Country To Make It A Law

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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.

One of the most outspoken “no” supporters, Christian lobbyist Lyle Shelton, has agreed to “accept the democratic decision,” but he’s still to “win back” his definition of marriage: “Millions of Australians will always believe the truth about marriage, that it’s between one man and one woman. It could take years, if not decades, to win that back.”

Various opposers have joined Shelton in accepting the vote, but some are calling for religious amendments.

(Via The New York Times)