Australians voted decisively in favour of allowing same-sex couples to marry, sparking joyous celebrations Wednesday across the country even though the change must still be enshrined in law. Thousands of marriage equality supporters took to the streets, dancing and singing when the results were announced, as colourful confetti filled the sky at rallies in cities across the country.
Almost 62 percent of the 12.7 million people who participated in the two-month non-binding postal survey voted in favour of allowing gay marriage, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull vowing to move a bill in favour of equality by Christmas.
Thousands of people gathered in a central Sydney park, some wearing wedding dresses and sequined suits, broke into a loud cheer, hugged and cried as Australia’s chief statistician revealed live over a big screen that 61.6 percent of voters favoured marriage equality, with 38.4 percent against.
The voluntary poll is non-binding but Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull immediately said he would fulfil a pledge to put a proposal to Parliament to pass laws on marriage equality by the end of the year.
“It is unequivocal, it is overwhelming. They have spoken in their millions and they have voted overwhelmingly yes for marriage equality,” he told reporters in Canberra. “They voted yes for fairness, yes for commitment, yes for love.”