… It’s a Yes Vote!

… It’s a Yes Vote!

By Erin Archer

 

It’s been 2 months since the same-sex marriage surveys were sent out to every eligible person in Australia, to decide whether gay people in the country, should be allowed to get married.

During that time the campaigning had been challenging, with controversy from both sides of the “Yes Camp”, and “No Camp”, however with it finally over, there is now statistical evidence that the majority of Australia supports and are ready for marriage equality.

The postal, voluntary plebiscite will be an occasion written in the history books, as almost 8 million people – 61.6% of the turnout – voted Yes to change the marriage act and put an end to discrimination to the LGBTIQ community.

“They voted Yes for fairness. They voted Yes for commitment. They voted Yes for love,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said.

Australian Bureau of Statistics chief statistician David Kalisch announced the $122 million question in Canberra, confirming the survey had delivered a Yes result.

High profile faces such as legendary Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe, actress Magda Szubanski and singer John Paul Young lead the celebrations at Prince Alfred Park in Sydney, following the Yes vote prevailing.

The popular LGBTIQ hot spot Oxford Street in Sydney’s CBD was flooded with people waving rainbow flags, as the festivities continued well into the night.

Over in Melbourne, opposition leader Bill Shorten welcomed the result and described it as a ‘fabulous day to be an Australian’.

‘Australians have voted for a generous view of themselves, for a modern Australia, where diversity is accepted, supported and respected,’ he told a marriage equality rally in Melbourne.

 

“Today we celebrate, tomorrow we legislate!”

 

While there was tears of happiness, endless glitter and an array of rainbow outfits for Yes voters following the result, it was a different atmosphere for those in the No camp.

Well known No advocate, former prime minister Tony Abbott released a statement through his Facebook page thanking the 4.7 million people who supported marriage between a man and a woman.

He asked Parliament to respect the decision, but also make sure there was a bill ‘which implements same-sex marriage with freedom of conscience for all, not just the churches.’

Lyle Shelton, a Coalition for Marriage spokesman, said he was naturally disappointed in the result however would respect the wishes of the Australian public.

In a statement for the Australian Christian Lobby, he thanked the volunteers who door knocked, staffed call centres, held up banners and those who donated.

 

“Despite our loss today, you are not alone – you are part of a large movement of Australians who will always believe the truth about marriage.”

The task now for the federal government is to deliver the clear wishes of the Australian public and legalise same-sex marriage.

Debate got underway on Thursday, after Liberal senator Dean Smith introduced his private senators bill, and gave an emotional tribute to the Liberal Party, and thanked Australia for their support.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann praised the bill as a good starting point, however held some reservations surrounding the lack of religious protections.

Malcolm Turnbull made the commitment for same-sex marriage to be legalised before Christmas this year, and the Senate has extended hours for its next sitting to make sure the issue is dealt with, by the end of the next parliamentary week on November 30.

The next couple of weeks of debate in the Senate and House of Representatives will be a roller coaster ride, with the Smith Bill read out for the first time on Wednesday, soon after the momentous occasion.

Conservative MP’s will attempt to negotiate various ‘religious protections’ into the Smith Bill, including the possibility of allowing anyone with a religious or moral objection to refuse to participate in the process – including florists, bakers and musicians.

About author

earche04
earche04 66 posts

Erin joined the NRN team straight after graduating from a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) at Charles Sturt University in 2016.

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