As you may be aware, Australia has, for the last two months, been debating and conducting a national postal survey to determine whether its citizens would like to legalize same-sex marriage. As it turns out, Australians are “overwhelmingly” in favor of the measure.
On Tuesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics unveiled the results, which show that 61 percent of the population voted to allow same-sex marriage, while 38 percent voted against it, CNN reports. 12.7 million Australians participated in the government’s survey, which accounts for 79.5 percent of voting-age Australians, according to The New York Times.
The survey is non-binding but will hopefully clear the way for Australia’s Parliament to legalize same-sex unions in the very near future.
Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, said of the survey results on Tuesday, “The Australian people have spoken, and they have voted overwhelmingly ‘yes’ for marriage equality…. They voted ‘yes’ for fairness, they voted ‘yes’ for commitment, they voted ‘yes’ for love.”
Nonetheless, many supporters of LGBT rights were dismayed by the survey when it was initially announced, arguing that it would only delay actual legal equality, would leave up to direct democracy what should already be a guaranteed right, and cost way too much to enact in the first place. The Times reports the estimated cost of mailing out the survey was $97 million. And there was no legal necessity for the survey in the first place.