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Overwhelming support for same-sex marriage in Australia

Voters chose love and equality over prejudice, said Andrew Copson. Photo: Ludovic Bertron

61.6 percent of voters taking part in Australia’s national postal survey have voted in favour of legalising same-sex marriage. The results of the survey were announced today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, paving the way for consideration of a same-sex marriage bill in the Australian Parliament. Humanists UK, which campaigned for the legalisation of same-sex marriage in the UK in 2013, is delighted that the Australian electorate have shown such strong support for marriage equality and hopes that legislation to enact this change will be passed without delay.  

The turnout of the voluntary survey was nearly 80 percent, demonstrating the ‘unequivocal and overwhelming’ will of the Australian people according to Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. In a message posted online after the result was announced, he called for legislation to be brought forward before the end of this year.

The introduction of a marriage equality bill is supported by the ruling Liberal-National Party Coalition and the opposition Labour Party, as well as Green MPs. However, it is expected that some conservative members of the Coalition government will seek amendments securing opt-outs for religious groups, such as allowing commercial service providers who are religiously opposed to same-sex marriage to refuse to provide goods and services for these marriages.

Humanists UK’s Chief Executive Andrew Copson commented, ‘We are delighted that the people of Australia have voted so strongly to set aside prejudice and support love and equality instead. Giving same-sex couples equal opportunity to share their devotion to each other publically and enjoy the benefits of marriage is long past time in Australia, and I hope this result will serve to bolster calls for similar reform in other countries around the world.  

‘It is now the responsibility of the Australian Parliament to act upon the clear wishes of the people, not just in legislating for same-sex marriage, but in protecting all the rights that same-sex couples are entitled to enjoy as part of this institution.’

Notes  

For further comment or information contact Richy Thompson, Director of Public Affairs and Policy at richy@humanism.org.uk.

Read more about our campaign work on marriage laws: https://humanism.org.uk/campaigns/human-rights-and-equality/marriage-laws/

At Humanists UK, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. Our work brings non-religious people together to develop their own views, helping people be happier and more fulfilled in the one life we have. Through our ceremonies, education services, and community and campaigning work, we strive to create a fair and equal society for all.

Humanists UK recently changed its name from the British Humanist Association: https://humanism.org.uk/2017/05/22/bha-becomes-humanists-uk/

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