Australia on way to legalise SSM after thumbing majority say YES

SOURCEGuardian, SMH, The Australian


Australians have voted Yes to same-sex marriage after 61.6 per cent of almost 13 million respondents backed the proposal in the $122m voluntary survey. Liberal senator Dean Smith is expected to introduce his bill in the Senate this afternoon to legalise SSM. However, conservatives are pushing for an alternative bill with far-reaching religious protections.

Outspoken conservative senator Eric Abetz has congratulated the Yes campaign on a “clear victory”, saying he regrets but respects the result.

“I regret the decision of my fellow Australians, but the way our system works, you’ve got to respect it and I have no doubt that by Christmas or thereabouts we will have (same sex marriage),” Senator Abetz told ABC TV.

Bill Shorten has declared it is a “fabulous day to be an Australian” after the Yes vote was carried in the same-sex marriage survey.

“In this survey the Australian people have declared overwhelmingly Australia is ready for marriage equality,” Mr Shorten said at a rally in Melbourne.

“I want to say thank you first and foremost to members of our LGBTQI community. You shouldn’t have had to put up with this

survey, but you embraced it.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale says the result means so much to young people “who will no longer have to walk in a society that says their love is different”.

“Australians said no to discrimination and any legislation that comes before the Parliament needs to respect that.”

Malcolm Turnbull has issued a warning to the parliament to “get on with it” and legalise same-sex marriage by the end of the year as a labelled the survey result “unequivocal”.

The Prime Minister said the legislating same-sex marriage should happen by Christmas after an “overwhelming” 61.6 per cent of voters supported a change to the Marriage Act in the postal survey.

“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 have tasked asked to do and get this done this year before Christmas,” Mr Turnbull said.