Supporters of the 'Yes' vote for marriage equality celebrate after it was announced the majority of Australians support same-sex marriage in a national survey Photograph:( Reuters )
It was a glorious day for Australia on Wednesday as same-sex marriage got legalized in a historic, non-binding poll.
With around 61.6% votes in favor of same-sex marriage of the total 12.7 million participants in the two-month long survey, the parliament has decided to implement the law before Christmas.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics stated that out of the total eligible voters, around 80% participates out of which 38.4% voted against gay marriages.
Same-sex couples could be able to marry by Christmas, but first the parliament must adopt legislation giving the non-binding vote result the force of law.
Australians paving the way for legislation to make the country the 26th nation to formalise the unions by the end of the year (Reuters)
Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull - who voted for same-sex marriage, stated that the "overwhelming" outcome and is now deciding the components to be included in the bill.
"[Australians] have spoken in their millions and they have voted overwhelmingly yes for marriage equality," he said after the result was announced.
"They voted yes for fairness, yes for commitment, yes for love. And now it is up to us here in the parliament of Australia to get on with it."
Australians broke out on the streets to celebrate the joyous day on Wednesday and marched through the streets waving flags, singing, and dancing.
Thousands of people gathered in a central Sydney park, some wearing wedding dresses and sequined suits, broke into a loud cheer, hugged and cried. (Reuters)
Some conservative MPs are urging the officials to include exemptions that would let business who do not support same-sex marriages to deny supply of goods and services for the wedding.
That bill is expected to be introduced in the Senate as early as Thursday.
Conservative opponents vowed before Wednesday's result was announced to pursue their campaign for exemptions from the eventual legalization of gay marriage, which they say will lead to attacks on their freedoms of speech and religion.
"If a 'yes' vote is returned, we will do what we can to guard against restrictions on freedom of speech and freedom of religion, to defend parents' rights, and to protect Australian kids from being exposed to radical LGBTIQ sex and gender education in the classrooms," Lyle Shelton, a spokesman for the Coalition for Marriage, said at the weekend.
"We promise our supporters that no matter the result, we will continue to work to defend Australian families," he said.