An overwhelming majority of Australians voted “yes” in a national survey assessing support for same-sex marriage. Results of the survey are non-binding, but it opens the door for Australia’s parliament to introduce legislation that would legalize same-sex marriages.
“Yes” was the clear winner in all of Australia’s territories — more than 12.7 million people voted in the survey, according to The Guardian. Voter turnout was also high, with nearly 80% of Australians voting in the survey. All in all, 7.8 million people voted “yes” and 4.8 million people voted “no.” Here’s a breakdown of the vote by territory:
Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull, a member of the Conservative Party, called for the national survey to demonstrate public support for same-sex marriage despite his party’s opposition. At a press conference on Wednesday morning Turnbull, who voted in favor of same-sex marriage, said he planned to legalize same-sex marriage by December.
“The Australian people have had their say, and they have voted overwhelmingly yes for marriage equality,” Turnbull said. “Now, it’s our job, as the Australian Parliament, all of us here to get on with it and get this done before Christmas.”
Dean Smith, a lawmaker from Australia’s right-leaning Liberal Party, said he would introduce a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. According to BuzzFeed, Smith’s bill has the support of a cross-party group of senators — as well as Turnbull. It could be debated as early as Thursday morning.