Australians say yes to marriage equality in historic vote

Australians say yes to marriage equality in historic vote

Australians say yes to marriage equality in historic vote

Almost 80 per cent of Australians took part in the voluntary vote, which asked whether or not the law should be changed to allow same sex couples to marry.

The official count of Australia's gay marriage survey have 61 per cent voting "Yes" that same-sex couples should be able to marry by Christmas.

Same-sex marriage will now nearly certainly be legalised in Australia through a change to the Marriage Act.

The non-binding result paves the way for Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull to bring in legislation allowing same-sex marriage.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has already rejected the conservative bill.

A second private bill, containing more protections for religious protections and conscientious objection, is being pushed by conservative coalition MPs, many of whom campaigned for a "no" vote.

Mr Turnbull has indicated the government would "not countenance" winding back anti-discrimination laws.

"Senator Canavan has been part of a group inside the Liberal Party who have fought tooth and nail not to bring this into the parliament", she told ABC radio.

And while the government faces some difficulties after losing its majority in the lower house following the resignations of Barnaby Joyce and John Alexander in the dual citizenship fiasco, the issue has cross-party support and already plans are in place Liberal senator Dean Smith to introduce a private member's bill in favour of same-sex marriage to the Senate this afternoon.

After months of fierce debate on both sides, supporters of marriage equality are expected to emerge victorious.

Conservatives who backed the Paterson Bill are now shifting their focus to amendments on the Smith Bill, in recognition they do not have the numbers in Parliament.

Two men kiss as they participate in an event supporting a "yes" vote in the postal survey.

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". Liberal senator James Paterson's bill is also far more stringent.

The postal survey saw 16 million registered voters among Australia's population of 24 million asked for their views on overturning the prohibition.

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