November 15, 2017 | Sex & Society

Australians says yes ... to same-sex marriage!

Australians were asked if same-sex marriage should be legalized in the country, and they overwhelmingly said yes.

Following a contentious few months, in which Aussies were asked to submit their vote through a non-binding postal survey, the results were finally released yesterday; 61.6% voted in favor of changing the law to allow same-sex couples to marry, while only 38.4% voted against. Almost 12.6 million people -- 80% of the population -- took part in the survey.
The country's politicians have been debating the issue of same-sex marriage since 2004, when then Prime Minister John Howard wanted to explicitly deny gay couples the right to wed by stating in the Marriage Act that "marriage was between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others."
Successive leaders have been equally reluctant to extend marriage rights to gay couples.
However, the current Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has promised that his government will now pass same-sex marriage legislation by Christmas.
"[Australians] have spoken in their millions and they have voted overwhelmingly yes for marriage equality," he said yesterday. "They voted yes for fairness, yes for commitment, yes for love. And now it is up to us here in the parliament of Australia to get on with it."
Conservative politicians, refusing to give up the fight, are hoping any new marriage law will allow people of faith to refuse to work with same-sex couples.
And though the wounds may take some time to heal, there is some comfort to be found in knowing that the majority of Aussies, in every territory, said yes to equality.
Good on ya, Australia!

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