It’s official. The majority of Australians support same-sex marriage with the results of the country’s postal survey on the issue revealed today.
More than 61% of people voted in favor of changing the law to allow same-sex couples to marry, while 38.4% voted against.
The votes were read out by Australia Statistician, David W. Kalisch, from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The ABS was put in charge of running the AU$122 million (US$93 million) postal survey when it was announced in September.
Kalisch’s media conference was live-streamed to massive ‘results parties’ across Australia.
The Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey has dominated news and politics over the past two months.
Almost 80% of eligible voters – about 12.6 million people – submitted their opinion in the non-compulsory, non-binding postal survey. That’s a greater percentage of people than voted in Ireland’s referendum on the same issue and Brexit in the UK.
What comes next?
The fight for marriage equality has raged for 13 years in Australia. In 2004, then Prime Minister, John Howard, amended the Marriage Act to read that ‘marriage was between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others’.
Today’s results do not mean the fight for marriage equality is over. The parliament still needs to legislate on the issue, with a number of potential bills making the rounds.
Read our full breakdown of what comes next here.
Look after yourself
Even though Australia has voted ‘yes’ to marriage equality it has been a really tough couple of months for LGBTI Australians, with more of a fight ahead.
Please make sure you take time for self care; surround yourself with loving friends and family, detox from social media and access mental health services if you need to.
ACON’s Stronger Together is a fantastic resource available with tips on how to take care of your mental health.
There is also a full list of support services around the world here.