Australians have voted Yes for same-sex marriage laws

Kristopher Drake
November 15, 2017

Labor's Senate leader Penny Wong has described a possible "yes" vote in the same-sex marriage postal survey as bigger than just a result for the LGBTQ community - rather she said it would say a lot about Australia.

Prior to the official count release, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said it's the "goal" that same sex marriage will be legal in Australia by Christmas.

The result is expected to mirror a myriad of opinion polls pointing to a win for the "yes" campaign, possibly as high as 60 per cent.

There is also a strongly-held view among moderate Liberals that, having lost the vote, opponents of same-sex marriage have no right to dictate what the law should look like.

But even if the yes vote prevails then the matter does not end today, and same sex marriage will not automatically be legalised.

Almost 80 per cent of eligible Australians took part in the voluntary poll and the outcome will be announced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics at 10am on Wednesday.

A private bill, proposed by West Australian Liberal senator Dean Smith, has been labelled the "starting point" by senior government ministers. But he may have to compete with another bill from conservative Liberal Senator James Paterson that contains provisions such as allowing "conscientious objections" for people who don't wish to cater for gay weddings due to their religious beliefs.

"Australians will be voting for today", he told ABC radio.

A young protester cheers in support during a march for marriage equality in Sydney.

The postal survey result "will certainly encourage the prime minister and the position he's taken as a strong advocate for yes in his ongoing battle with the conservative wing of his party", said Haydon Manning, a political analyst at Flinders University in Adelaide.

"A yes vote can not and should not and must not become a moment where others try to unravel existing anti-discrimination law", he said.

A handful of MPs have vowed to ignore the public's will and vote against the bill anyway, but they are few and far between.

Greenwich said the campaign had made more than 1m phone calls and knocked 100,000 doors, an "unprecedented" level of support that had exceeded "any campaign in our history".

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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