On This Gay Day: Australia said Yes! to marriage equality

Four years on from Australia’s historic vote for marriage equality

For people in Perth it was an early morning rise to find out the results of the postal survey on marriage equality. On this day back in 2017 people gathered in the Northbridge Piazza to listen to a live telecast of the results being announced by the head of the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The night before the WA Police had been asking the leaders of WA’s campaign for the Yes vote, community leaders and journalists from OUTinPerth if anyone had any idea how many people would turn up for the announcement which would arrive at 7.30am.

While people in Sydney filled Centenary Park, many wondered if people on the west coast would just stay home to watch the result while still in their pajamas.

By 7am though the Northbridge Piazza was filled with people, all eagerly awaiting the result. Many of them had campaigned for the change to the nation’s marriage laws for years. When the news came through it was a clear win for the Yes campaign with 61.6% Australian voters saying yes.

A year after the announcement some of the people who had campaigned for the change met up again at the piazza and reflected on the previous 12 months. For some they were now married, others had become engaged to long term partners.

The last three years have also seen a political debate over who gets to claim success in bringing marriage equality to Australia with all sides of politics taking credit, despite years of opposition to changing the laws.

OIP Staff, Image: Clayton K Media. This article was first published in 2020 and has been updated. 


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