Nov. 15 (UPI) — Australia voted to endorse the legalization of same-sex marriage in a voluntary survey on Tuesday.
About 79 percent of eligible Australians voted in the survey with nearly 62 percent voting Yes in the survey that will be followed by a Parliament vote.
“They have spoken in their millions and they have voted overwhelmingly Yes for marriage equality. They voted Yes for fairness, Yes for commitment, Yes for love,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said of the Australian people. “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.”
The vote was conducted by mail and is non-binding.
Results showed a majority of people in all states and territories voted Yes and the highest Yes results came from the cities of Sydney and Melbourne at about 84 percent.
“What is clear … is the clarity of the result,” David Kalisch, from the Australian Bureau of Statistics said.
Bill Shorten, leader of Australia’s Labor party said it was a “fabulous day to be an Australian.”
“I say to all LGBTQI Australians, you are 100 percent loved, 100 percent valued and after the next two weeks of Parliament 100 percent able to marry the person you love,” he said.
Conservative senator Eric Abetz said he regretted the outcome of the survey but offered congratulations to the Yes campaign.
“The decision by the Australian people reflected in the postal survey is a decision that I regret but respect,” he said. “Changing a fundamental societal institution that pre-existed the nation-state is something which should rightly be decided by the people as a whole and it has been with a very strong turnout despite claims from many quarters that this process would fail.”
Following the survey Australia’s coalition will debate on a bill to bring forward to Parliament.