Celebrations swept across Australia Wednesday as voters emphatically endorsed same-sex marriage after more than a decade of divisive debate, and political leaders immediately began moves to enshrine the historic shift in law by Christmas.
Thousands of marriage equality supporters took to parks and squares across the vast country, hugging, dancing and singing under clouds of glitter when the results of the two-month-long postal survey were announced.
Revelers wrapped in rainbow colors swarmed the entertainment districts of Sydney, Melbourne and other cities, closing streets as the party continued late into the evening.
Almost 62 percent of the 12.7 million people who participated voted “yes” to the question: “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”
Just 38.4 percent voted “no”, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which carried out the poll.
Nearly 80 percent of eligible voters took part in the poll, with the “yes” vote winning a majority in all of Australia’s states and territories. (AFP)