Nov 28th, 2017, 06:50 PM

Australia Votes for Love

By Anabel Bachour
Image Credit: Wikimedia/Benson Kua
In a referendum, Australia voted in support of marriage equality sparking joy among the Australian LGBT community.

November 14, 2017, marked the day when Australians finally voted for the freedom to marry whomever they want. The referendum was a non-binding postal vote but Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbul, in an interview with the New York Times, said: “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.”

Chiara Sophia Amor is an Australian AUP student who commented on the vote: "I’m really happy about Australia legalizing gay marriage. I can’t say enough good things about Australia but one of the things I couldn't say was that everyone had the right to get married. Now everyone has the opportunity to marry who they love and that’s bloody fantastic!"

Image Credit: Wikimedia/Paris Buttfield-Addison

This process took longer than expected, it all started in 2004 through The Marriage Equality Act. This act was intended to legalize same-sex marriage. But the High Court unanimously struck the act down in its entirety, on the basis that it was in conflict with the Federal Marriage Act which continued defining marriage in Australia as the union of a man and a woman. However, this past month, the Act was finally brought to a referendum.

Approximately 12.3 million Australians participated in the poll, the results came back with 61.6 percent who voted yes, and 38.4 percent who voted no. After the voting results were announced, the decision was made to make the change. That was accompanied by people filling the streets to celebrate the news: the center of Melbourne was filled with rainbow flags, rainbow-colored smoke, and cheers by a very enthusiastic crowd. 

Embed from Getty Images

Chiara continued, "Being gay, myself, is a pretty good reason to be happy but I’m a little disappointed that ONLY 61% voted yes. At the end of the day, we got the yes but to think we only got it by such a small amount. Though Australia is super cool, we can still be a little conservative, judgemental, racist but we just brush it off and pretend it’s no big deal. But I’m glad we’re making some steps forward."

She adds, "Hey, any progress is good progress!"