After an eight-week postal survey polling Australian residents on whether or not same-sex marriage should be lawful throughout Australia, the results are in!
At 10 a.m. on November 15th, the Australian Bureau of Statistics announced that the final vote is a YES!
The Aussies have spoken and the results are:
- 7,817,247 – YES 61.6%
- 4,873,987 – NO 38.4%
12,727,920 total voters 79.5% total electorate
Here is footage of the gathering in Sydney for the announcement (video from DNA Magazine's Facebook Page). Skip ahead to the 21 minute mark for THE moment.
Over 12.6 million people participated in the voluntary postal survey, that’s about ¾ of the entire Australian electorate.
This has been one of the most pivotal moments in Australia’s history, creating massive dialogue between campaigns for and against the proposed law.
According to a press release issued by the Human Rights Watch:
The postal survey in effect submitted the human rights of the LGBT population to a popularity contest, putting gay, lesbian, and bisexual people in a vulnerable position. For two months, their lives and identities were open to public debate, scrutiny, evaluation, and sometimes abuse.
During this period, some groups opposing marriage equality used scare tactics to lure voters to their side. Opponents stoked fears that a “yes” victory would pose a threat to religious freedom. The opponents circulated posters and advertising campaigns with misleading information and sometimes outright lies.
Upon news of the historic results, Alex Greenwich from the Equality Campaign shared:
This happened because millions of Australians reached out to our own families, neighbourhoods, organisations – to stand up for equality, stand by our loved ones and share why YES was so important
You’ve done it. It’s YES.
Now, because of you, ours will be the last generation in which LGBTI relationships are not equal under the law. For the young person growing up in a small town, for the couple who have been together 40 years, and the person who’s been longing to propose: you belong here, your love is celebrated and honoured here, and never again will you be made to feel otherwise by our country’s laws.
So pick up the phone right now. Call your son or daughter. Text your best friend. Hug your grandma. High-five the coffee guy. Pump the music in your office. Put a shiny new badge on your profile pic. Give your child a great big cuddle. Because today in Australia, fairness and equality triumphed, and we can all be proud.
Congratulations, Australia! The survey is only the beginning on a path to parliament adoption which would make Australia the 25th country with marriage equality. Let's get ready for some fabulous weddings in the land down under!