Australians say 'yes to love' in same-sex marriage poll

Australia has followed Ireland in voting in favour of legalising same-sex marriage by 61.6% to 38.4%.

People celebrate after the announcement of the same-sex marriage postal survey result in front of the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne

The results of the non-binding survey were met with celebrations from Yes campaign events across the country - as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said it was time for Parliament to act on the wishes of the nation.

Across all six states in Australia, the yes vote won - ranging from 64.9% in Victoria to 57.8% in New South Wales - while both the Northern Territory (60.6%) and Australian Capital Territory (74%) voted in favour of the proposal.

Speaking in Canberra, Mr Turnbull said: "Australians have voted yes for fairness, they have voted yes for commitment, they have voted yes for love.

"Now it's up to us here in the Parliament of Australia to get on with it, to get on with the job the people have asked us to do and get it done this year, before Christmas.

"That must be our commitment.

"I know that many people - a minority obviously - voted no.

"But we are a fair nation - there's nothing more Australian than a fair go, than equality, than mutual respect."

With a turnout of 79.5%, the vote had a bigger turnout than the Brexit referendum and US presidential election. A change of law will need to be approved by Parliament.

Australian statistician David Kalisch announced the results in the country's capital Canberra, with 7,817,247 of the ballots cast saying yes, compared to 4,873,987 opposed to the idea.

The chief executive of Australian flag carrier Qantas urged Malcolm Turnbull to "get on with" legislating.

Alan Joyce, an Irish-born Australian described as a "passionate advocate for LGBT+ rights", said he was proud of Ireland when they voted to legalise same-sex marriage in 2015.

Addressing a Yes campaign event in Sydney, he said: "But today I am even more proud of Australia, my country of selection.

"This is an amazing outcome and we should all be proud of this amazing country."

Liberal senator Eric Abetz, who backed the No campaign, said: "The decision by the Australian people reflected in the postal survey is a decision that I regret but respect.

"Changing a fundamental societal institution that pre-existed the nation-state is something which should rightly be decided by the people as a whole and it has been with a very strong turnout despite claims from many quarters that this process would fail.

"While disappointed by the result, I am heartened by the strong 'no' vote in the face of such a relentless campaign from the 'yes' campaign by the media, political elites and celebrities.

"The voices of the millions of 'no' voters deserve to be recognised in the framing of any legislation.

"A hubristic winner-takes-all approach in this matter would ignore the will of millions of Australians who have concerns about changing marriage."


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