Australians have returned a resounding YES response with 61.6 per cent of the nation agreeing to legalise same-sex marriage.
Australian Statistician David Kalisch said this morning that 12,727,920 or 79 per cent of eligible Australians returned a response in the voluntary survey, with 7.8 million in support of same-sex marriage, and 4.9 million against (38.4 per cent).
The Australian Capital Territory returned the highest Yes response with 74 per cent, while New South Wales returned the lowest with 57.8 per cent. Victoria – 64.9 per cent; Western Australia – 63.7 per cent; Tasmania – 63.6 per cent; South Australia – 62.5 per cent; Queensland – 60.7 per cent; and Northern Territory – 60.6 per cent.
Participation in the survey was over 70 per cent in 146 of the 150 electorates. All states and territories recorded a majority Yes response. 133 of the 150 Federal Electoral Divisions recorded a majority Yes response, and 17 of the 150 Federal Electoral Divisions recorded a majority No response.
“This is outstanding for a voluntary survey and well above other voluntary surveys conducted around the world,” said Mr Kalisch. “It shows how important this issue is the many Australians.”
Mr Kalisch said participation was strong across every state and territory except in the Northern Territory, where only 58.4 per cent of eligible people responded. “The participation in the survey were slightly higher in older ages and slightly lower in younger age groups but not markedly so,” he said.
Following the announcement, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull promised to bring the same-sex marriage bill to a vote in Parliament before Christmas. “They have spoken in their millions and they have voted overwhelmingly Yes for marriage equality,” he said. “They voted yes for fairness, they voted yes for commitment, they voted 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 have tasked asked to do and get this done. This year, before Christmas – that must be our commitment,” added the Prime Minister.
Speaking at the Yes Rally outside the State Library of Victoria, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said, “What a fabulous day to be an Australian,” he said. “Today we celebrate. Tomorrow we legislate.”
Long-term Marriage Equality campaigner, Alex Greenwich says: “This day has delivered an unequivocal mandate to our federal government to get on and get this done.”