Australians “have spoken in their millions and they have voted overwhelmingly yes for marriage equality,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said following the announcement of results. “They voted yes for fairness, yes for commitment, yes for love.”
The Sydney Morning Herald reports: “In Sydney, thousands gathered in Prince Alfred Park on Wednesday morning to hear their country’s answer to a permission many believed they should never have been forced to seek.”
When the results were announced, the newspaper says, “The crowd jumped with ecstasy, and relief. Rainbow flags blurred with the sky with a frenzy. Couples grasped one another in long embraces, tears streaming down their cheeks.”
Tanna Winter, 30, was having a celebratory beer in the capital, Canberra, where the “yes” vote was strongest.
“The polls said that Brexit wouldn’t happen, the polls said that Hillary would win and I sort of thought this felt like Australia’s time to show everyone that we’re backward too,” Winter was quoted by The Associated Press as saying.
While gay marriage could be a reality in Australia by Christmas, some government lawmakers have vowed to vote down gay marriage regardless of the survey’s outcome.
Opponents have also questioned the legitimacy of any same-sex marriage law since several lawmakers could potentially be disqualified from Parliament due to a constitutional ban on dual citizens standing for election.