Aussie same-sex marriage vote results in

Aussie same-sex marriage vote results in

Nearly 80 percent of the country's eligible voters took part in the survey - a higher voter turnout than Britain's Brexit vote and Ireland's same-sex marriage referendum.

The Senate will be asked later today to support a move to introduce draft laws allowing same-sex marriage on Thursday.

Thousands of marriage equality supporters erupted into celebrations at rallies in major cities across Australia when the result was announced.

Australians have voted in support of same-sex marriage, paving the way for parliament to legalize gay unions before the end of the year. "They voted yes for fairness, yes for commitment, yes for love". This bill would legalize same-sex marriage but still allow religious ministers and organizations to refuse to oversee marriages they don't like.

"I say to all Australians, whatever your views on this issue may be, we must respect the voice of the people". Qantas CEO Alan Joyce danced on stage in Sydney with author and actor Magda Szubanski, and urged Turnbull to "get on with it". After the successful marriage equality referendum in Ireland in May 2015, pressure grew on the Australian government to legislate but the Coalition party room agreed on a national plebiscite instead, although there was no legal requirement to do so. Turnbull has vowed that the latter bill won't see the light of day, although some conservatives in the parliament have signaled that they will push for it, including the former prime minister and most prominent "no" camp leader, Tony Abbott.

The survey has been voluntary, unlike Australia's compulsory elections.

Voting opened on September 12 and Australians who had registered to vote had until November 7 to return their surveys.

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