Australia embraces same-sex marriage
AUSTRALIA has voted to endorse same-sex marriage by a margin of 62 per cent to 38 per cent in a historic plebiscite welcomed by prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, who declared: “They voted for love.”
As thousands of people celebrated s at rallies across the country, the Australian Bureau of Statistics announced that the turnout for the voluntary ballot was 79.5 per cent – one of the highest for any such referendum around the world.
Mr Turnbull said the “overwhelming” victory of the “yes” vote would be followed by a free vote of MPS to change the law.
“They voted yes for fairness, they voted yes for commitment, they voted yes for love,” he said. “I say to all Australians, whatever your views on this issue may be, we must respect the voice of the people. We asked them for their opinion and they have given it to us.”
Mr Turnbull, who personally supports same sex marriage, said he hoped to hold a parliamentary vote before Christmas.
He faces strong resistance from conservative MPS in the ruling coalition who have urged him to ensure that wedding businesses are not required to participate in same-sex marriages.