Aus­tralia em­braces same-sex mar­riage

The Daily Telegraph - - World news - By Jonathan Pearlman in Syd­ney

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.

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