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Marriage Equality: Australia Votes Yes


Marriage Equality: Australia Votes Yes

On Wednesday at 10am (AEDT), the Australia Bureau of Statistics released the results of the national plebiscite on legalising same-sex marriage. The result, as suggested by polls throughout the campaign, was a resounding victory for the Yes campaign, with 61% of Australians voting in favour of legalising same-sex marriage.

In the announcement, ABS' David Kalisch revealed that 79.5% of eligible people voted, with all age groups recording a participation rate over 70%. Of which, the No vote recorded just 38.4% of those deemed "clear responses", with the Yes vote result corresponding with over 7.8 million Australians voting in favour of same-sex marriage.

Helen Davidson from The Guardian has shared the state-by-state result breakdown, which shows that Yes won out in all states and territories, with only New South Wales recording a result on that side of the ledger less than 60%.

In the electorate breakdown, 133 of the 150 federal electorates voted Yes, with just 17 electorates voting No. The seat of Sydney recorded the highest Yes vote with 83.7%, with Malcolm Turnbull's Wentworth electorate recording the fifth highest with 80.8%. Interestingly, Warringah, the seat held by former prime minister and vocal No advocate, Tony Abbott, was the 10th highest with 75% voting Yes.


So, what's next?

Even before the result was known, as they saw the ever-shrinking chance of a successful No vote, several conservatives — mostly notably Tasmanian Liberal senator Eric Abetz — began angling for amendments to the bill put forward earlier this week by Liberal MP's Dean Smith, mostly around their concerns of "religious freedoms". A rival bill formed from some of these considerations has been drafted by MP James Paterson, stipulating businesses should be allowed to discriminate against same-sex unions.

While Turnbull has already said Paterson's bill would have "virtually no prospect of getting through the parliament" it sets the tone for what is likely be a messy few weeks of back-and-forth before anything is presented to parliament.

Meanwhile, ABC has managed to poll the MPs of both houses on how they would vote in the event of a successful Yes vote in the plebiscite. Although a handful insisting they'll still vote "no" regardless - as well as a few "it's complicated" fence-sitters - the results show that a marriage equality law would pass, with a 72% majority in the Lower House and 69% in the Upper House. 

At a press conference following the result announcement, Malcolm Turnbull has labeled the plebiscite "an unprecedented exercise in democracy", adding that "we are a fair nation. There is nothing more Australian than a fair go... equality and mutual respect, and everyone has had their say."


Topics: Marriage Equality


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