A postal vote referendum on the issue of same-sex marriage in Australia has closed with 61.6% of respondents voting in favour of changing the law. The Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnball had campaigned for the Yes vote and has worked with opposition parties in parliament to draft legislation which is expected to pass before the end of the year. The majority of MPs have stated they are in favour of the legislation and will vote to pass it.
AG George Brandis: I’m not in a position to confirm a date for commencement but I expect the amending act to proclaimed before Christmas https://t.co/7R2xBTTeMS
Turnball stated that Australians had ‘spoken in their millions and they have voted overwhelmingly yes for marriage equality[…] 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, to get on with the job the Australian people asked us to do and get this done.’
Turnbull, same-sex marriage supporters in Australia’s ruling Liberal-National party Coalition, the Labor opposition, Greens and other cross-bench parties have reached a consensus around a cross-party bill that makes minimalist changes to protect religious freedom without legalising discrimination by commercial service providers, such as cake makers, as some conservatives in the coalition government have demanded. Senator James Patterston has conceded defeat for a rival bill which would have allowed businesses to refuse service to same-sex marriages.
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott campaigned for the No side, and had said getting to 40% would deliver a ‘moral victory’. No received just 38.4% in the final tally.
Love wins in Australia! Thrilled to hear Australians have voted in favour of legalizing same-sex marriage. #MarriageEquality
I’m incredibly proud of legalising Same Sex Marriage in the UK & delighted that other countries are looking to do the same. G’day Australia! https://t.co/Beg9poCc1T