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Thursday December 14th 2017

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Australians vote yes on marriage equality

Sydney News

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), hails the outcome of Australia’s Marriage Law Postal Survey, where results show that 61.6 percent of Australian voters who participated in the survey endorse marriage equality. Since the results of the postal survey are non-binding, it is now up to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s government and the Australian Parliament to enact legislation ensuring marriage equality becomes a reality.

“We congratulate Australia’s LGBTQ advocates and allies who worked so hard to ensure a victory in this postal survey,” said Ty Cobb, director of HRC Global. “It’s crucial that loving, committed same-sex couples in Australia have the same rights and protections that come with marriage. We urge the Australian Parliament to take swift action ensuring marriage equality becomes the law of the land.”

The voluntary postal survey was held between September 12 and November 7, with the results announced today. The postal survey came after years of stalled efforts to bring marriage equality to Australia. After the country’s governing party refused to allow a conscience vote on the issue in parliament, it took the controversial step to introduce this expensive, voluntary postal survey in an attempt to settle the issue. The survey was widely criticized for once again delaying the arrival of marriage equality, but today’s results are clear proof that the majority of Australians want marriage equality to become the law of the land.

According to Andy Towle on Towleroad.com: Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull spoke out after it was revealed that voters had cast a majority “YES” vote in the nationwide postal survey for same-sex marriage. He stated, “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. And now it is up to us here in the parliament of Australia to get on with it, to get on with the job the Australian people have tasked us to do and get this done. This year. Before Christmas. That must be our commitment.”

According to Trudy Ring on The Advocate: The voluntary mail-in survey on marriage equality found 61.6 percent of respondents, or 7.8 million citizens, voting yes, the Australian Bureau of Statistics announced today (Wednesday morning in Canberra, the national capital). There were about 4.9 million no votes, or 38.4 percent of respondents.

The survey is nonbinding, so now it’s up to Parliament to legalize same-sex marriage — or not. Some lawmakers are supporting a bill that would establish marriage equality but add broad religious exemptions, allowing businesses to deny goods and services for same-sex weddings and letting students opt out of classes that conflict with their values.

The mail-in survey had a 79.5 percent participation rate, showing how important the issue is to Australians, according to the Bureau of Statistics. Citizens had from September 12 to November 7 to send in their votes.