Australia delivers a clear YES result on marriage equality

The Australian Bureau of Statistics have announced a ‘YES’ result has triumphed in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey.

After weeks of intensified debate, 61.6% Australian voters have declared that same sex couples should be allowed to marry by way of a unique postal survey devised by the Turnbull Government.

The result has been described as an emphatic endorsement, with all states and most electorates voting YES.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has described the results as an “overwhelming” endorsement for same sex marriage. Speaking to the media shortly after the announcement the PM said all Australians had had their say on the issue and now it was time for the politicians to “get on with it”.

“Our goal is to have the legislation passed through the parliament before we rise for Christmas.” Malcolm Turnbull said.

Acting Special Minister of State Mathias Cormann said Australians had made it clear that they wanted the law to be changed.

Labor leader Bill Shorten commented on the results saying they showed that love was the winner.

“Yes, yes, yes! What a fabulous day to be an Australian,” Shorten told Yes campaign supporters in Melbourne. “Today we celebrate, tomorrow we legislate.”

Speaking in Canberra this morning, Australian statistician David W. Kalisch made the historic announcement, revealing that the majority of people had voted YES.

Kalisch said that with a majority of people in all age groups and across all elections taking part in the exercise Australians could look at the results of the survey as a high participation result and consistent result.

The ABS chief also noted a high number of 18 to 19-year-olds took part of the survey with 78% of Australia’s youngest voters taking part in the process.

The ABS also announced that the process had cost much less than the anticipated $120 million, revealing they expected the total cost to come in at less than $100 million.

Thousands of people gathered in the Northbridge Piazza to hear the results, with loud cheers being shouted as the results were announced.

Western Australian Senator Dean Smith is expected to introduce his bill to the Senate this afternoon and get to work legislating for marriage equality immediately, with support from Labor’s Penny Wong and Louise Pratt, Greens Richard Di Natale, and Janet Rice, Liberal senators Linda Reynolds and Janet Hume, and crossbenchers Derryn Hinch and Skye Kakoschke-Moore.

An alternative conservative bill from fellow Liberal Senator James Paterson has also been put forward for debate in the result of a ‘YES’ outcome, though the Prime Minister has dismissed the proposal as having ‘no prospect’ of passing through parliament.

Graeme Watson & Leigh Andrew Hill

Images: Clayton K, Annique Cockerill 

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