There have been celebrations in Sydney after Australians voted overwhelmingly in favour of same-sex marriage.
In a national postal survey 61.6 percent of voters supported the call for marriage equality legislation.
Although the poll is non-binding, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull immediately said he would fulfill a pledge to put a proposal before parliament by the end of the year.
“The Australian people have spoken in their millions, and they have voted overwhelmingly ‘yes’ for marriage equality. 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; to get on with the job the Australian people have tasked us to do and get this done, this year before Christmas. That must be our commitment.”
The result follows years of fierce public and political debate and marks a watershed moment for gay rights in Australia where it was illegal in some states to engage in homosexual activity until 1997.