Australians have overwhelmingly voted “YES” on the controversial marriage equality referendum that has dominated the country for months. After a long, anxious wait, the results were announced today, with more than 60 percent of voters supporting the measure, with 38.4 percent voting no.
In the months since voting began, everyone from Tim Cook to Troye Sivan voiced support for the measure that would legalize same-sex marriage, while conservatives have launched wave after wave of negative advertisements (with slogans including “stop the fags”) urging voters to deny equal marriage to the LGBTQ community.
As the survey now goes to the Parliament, the next battle begins. As Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull promised, there will now be pro-marriage equality legislation introduced for an official vote. Already, Australian conservatives have introduced legislation they’re calling a “conscientious objection” bill, which would make it legal for businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ people.
“With the rising tide of anti-LGBTQ laws and crackdowns around the world, citizens of Australia stood up for fairness and equality by supporting the right for everyone to marry the person they love,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO. “Now it is on the Australian government to heed the will of its people and pass fully equal marriage without exemptions.”
While we celebrate this historic moment, let’s keep up the fight and remember that it won’t be over until the law is passed and the Australian LGBTQ community has full marriage equality.