Australians vote ‘yes’ on same-sex marriage, clearing path for legalization

(Photo credit should read SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP/Getty Images)

AUSTRALIA – Australia has said “yes” to legalizing same-sex marriage after a controversial two-month national postal survey.

Results released Wednesday revealed 61% of the population voted to allow same-sex marriage, 38% voted against.

More than 12.7 million people across the country, or 79.5% of the population, took part in the survey with every state and territory returning majority “yes.”

Celebrations, singing and tears greeted the announcement in Melbourne, Australia, where hundreds of people had gathered to hear the result.

It is the beginning of the end for a long-running campaign to allow marriage equality in Australia, something already legal in the majority of English-speaking countries worldwide.

Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said it had been an “overwhelming” response in favor of “yes” and called for same-sex marriage to be legalized before Christmas.

“They voted ‘yes’ for fairness, they voted ‘yes’ for commitment, they voted ‘yes’ for love. And now it is up to us here in the Parliament of Australia to get on with it,” he told reporters in Canberra Wednesday.

But even ahead of the release of the results, conservative politicians inside the Australian parliament were preparing for a fight over how marriage equality would be legalized.

This is a developing story.

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