Australians Said Yes To Marriage Equality, And The Country Is Celebrating

"The Australian people have had their say."

The results of Australia's postal survey on same-sex marriage were revealed on Wednesday, with 61.6 percent of respondents voting "yes" to marriage equality. The survey was non-binding, and it's now up to the country's government to decide whether the Australian Marriage Act should be changed to allow for same-sex unions.

This didn't stop Australians (and people around the world) from celebrating the news. When the results were announced, crowds of people cheered and waved rainbow flags, and many people proposed to their partners in the hope of getting married soon. Videos and photos captured the joyous reaction on social media.

According to CNN, more than 12 million Australians cast a vote in the survey. That was a 79.5 percent turnout, which the Mirror points out is bigger than both Brexit and the U.S. presidential election in 2016. Additionally, every state and territory in the country returned a majority "yes" vote, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

"The Australian people have had their say, and they have voted overwhelmingly yes for marriage equality," Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said after the results were announced. "They voted overwhelmingly for fairness, for commitment, for love, and now it's our job as the Australian Parliament, all of us here, to get on with it and get this done before Christmas."

Prime Minister Turnbull has reportedly promised that the government will hold a free vote on a same-sex marriage bill, meaning politicians can vote with their own opinion even if it differs from their party's. 

While many criticized the $122 million survey, pointing to previous polling in favor of marriage equality, those who support same-sex couples' right to marry are glad to see positive results. 

"I feel for young people who had their relationships questioned in a way I wouldn't have thought we would see ever again," Labor leader Bill Shorten said in a statement, according to CNN, "but nevertheless what this marriage equality survey shows is that unconditional love always has the last word."


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