The Australian Bureau of Statistics
(ABS) on Wednesday announced that a majority of Australians voted in
favor of legalizing same-sex marriage in a two-month postal survey.
Sixty-one percent of Australians voted
“yes” to marriage equality, while 38% voted “no.”
In Melbourne, where hundreds of people
had gathered to hear the results, cheers broke out following the
A majority of people from every state
and territory voted “yes.”
Following the vote, Australian Prime
Minister Malcolm Turnbull called for same-sex marriage to be
legalized before Christmas.
“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,”
Turnbull told reporters in Canberra.
“The people of Australia have spoken
and I intend to make their wish the law of the land by Christmas.
This is an overwhelming call for marriage equality,” Turnbull said
in a short video posted on social media.
The government turned to the survey
after lawmakers twice rejected plans for a referendum, or plebiscite,
on the issue. The ABS survey didn't require parliamentary approval.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
U.S.'s largest LGBT rights advocate, applauded the results of the survey.
“We congratulate Australia's LGBTQ
advocates and allies who worked so hard to ensure a victory in this
postal survey,” Ty Cobb, director of HRC Global, said in a
statement. “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.”