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Voters march in Sydney to celebrate gay marriage result

Australians have turned out en masse to celebrate the results of the nationwide survey on legislating same sex marriage. 

The affirmative result of the historic ballot was announced on Tuesday morning, and people from all walks of life have been in celebration mode since.

Incredible pictures show some of Australia’s busiest streets jam-packed with people holding rainbow flags, wearing sequins, and dancing as they express their joy at the nation’s decision to legalise same sex marriage. 

Oxford Street in Sydney, considered the city’s gay district, was swarmed by a jubilant crowd which gathered and began to march along the road.

Party time! Huge crowds gathered in Sydney on Wednesday as Australia voted to legalise same sex marriage

Thousands of delighted Sydney-siders walked through Oxford Street holding signs and rainbow flags

Thousands of delighted Sydney-siders walked through Oxford Street holding signs and rainbow flags

A flurry of colour took over the capital cities of Sydney and Melbourne on Wednesday after the historic vote

A flurry of colour took over the capital cities of Sydney and Melbourne on Wednesday after the historic vote

Feeling the love: Couples were seen embracing on the street as they made their way along the usually busy road

Feeling the love: Couples were seen embracing on the street as they made their way along the usually busy road

Keeping an eye on things: Other same sex marriage supporters were seen gathering on the balcony of a hotel at Taylor Square

Keeping an eye on things: Other same sex marriage supporters were seen gathering on the balcony of a hotel at Taylor Square

In Melbourne, a flash mob broke out outside Victoria Trades Hall, where thousands had gathered to celebrate the Yes vote.

Rainbow flags were abundant as attendees danced and cheered in colourful outfits and rainbow paint on their faces. 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics announced the findings of the voluntary vote at a special hearing in Federal Parliament on Wednesday morning, with a majority of 61.6 per cent of Aussies in favour of legalising gay marriage.

Dancing the night away: In Melbourne, a flash-mob broke out among the enormous crowds gathered to celebrate the Yes result

Dancing the night away: In Melbourne, a flash-mob broke out among the enormous crowds gathered to celebrate the Yes result

Dress to impress! Rainbows were abundant on Wednesday as the celebrations took place long into the night

Dress to impress! Rainbows were abundant on Wednesday as the celebrations took place long into the night

Dress to impress! Rainbows were abundant on Wednesday as the celebrations took place into the night

Many were seen with rainbow paint on their faces or dressed in bright clothing as they celebrated with smiles on their faces

Many were seen with rainbow paint on their faces or dressed in bright clothing as they celebrated with smiles on their faces

Others donned Equality Campaign shirts and bright colours for the nationwide celebrations

Others donned Equality Campaign shirts and bright colours for the nationwide celebrations

Thousands of ‘Yes’ voters gathered in public places across the nation, including huge numbers outside the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne and Prince Alfred Park in Sydney.

Concert and festival-like scenes broke out in major cities upon the announcement, with DJs, bands and music providing the soundtrack for equality’s landmark day.  

One man even chose the moment to propose to his boyfriend, not in the mood to waste any time  

Parties have broken out in parks, on the streets and in bars throughout Australia in celebration of the same-sex marriage postal survey results

Parties have broken out in parks, on the streets and in bars throughout Australia in celebration of the same-sex marriage postal survey results

Thousands of 'Yes' voters gathered in public places across the nation, including huge numbers outside the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne and Prince Alfred Park in Sydney

Thousands of ‘Yes’ voters gathered in public places across the nation, including huge numbers outside the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne and Prince Alfred Park in Sydney

Concert and festival-like scenes broke out in major cities upon the announcement, with DJs and bands providing the soundtrack for equality's landmark day

Concert and festival-like scenes broke out in major cities upon the announcement, with DJs and bands providing the soundtrack for equality’s landmark day

Oxford Street, the harbour city’s iconic gay district, has been washed over by a sea of rainbows and joy

Emotional embraces, tears of joy and an overwhelming message of equality has washed over the nation after months of debate, abuse and pain

Emotional embraces, tears of joy and an overwhelming message of equality has washed over the nation after months of debate, abuse and pain

The 'Yes' campaign received 7,817,247 votes compared to 4,873,987 'No' votes, a significant victory for the campaign

The ‘Yes’ campaign received 7,817,247 votes compared to 4,873,987 ‘No’ votes, a significant victory for the campaign

One delighted man wore a what appeared to be a wedding dress and carried flowers to celebrate the Yes result in the same sex marriage postal survey

One delighted man wore a what appeared to be a wedding dress and carried flowers to celebrate the Yes result in the same sex marriage postal survey

Emotional embraces, tears of joy and an overwhelming message of equality has washed over the nation after months of debate, abuse and pain.  

The ‘Yes’ campaign received 7,817,247 votes compared to 4,873,987 ‘No’ votes, a significant victory for the campaign. 

The returned ballots amounted for 79.5 per cent of the population, a strong response from the public to the controversial $122 million postal vote.   

The onus will now be on politicians to pass a bill in parliament to legalise same-sex marriage, allowing Australia to join a host of other countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Sweden and Canada who have already changed their marriage laws.   

'Yes' voters have erupted in celebration across Australia after the postal survey returned results of 61.6 per cent in favour of legalising same-sex marriage

‘Yes’ voters have erupted in celebration across Australia after the postal survey returned results of 61.6 per cent in favour of legalising same-sex marriage

Champagne, bubbles and confetti has covered the skies across the nation's majority cities as parties kick off to celebrate the historic moment

Champagne, bubbles and confetti has covered the skies across the nation’s majority cities as parties kick off to celebrate the historic moment

Thousands of 'Yes' advocates have erupted in celebration at the State Library of Victoria

Thousands of ‘Yes’ advocates have erupted in celebration at the State Library of Victoria

The 'Yes' campaign received 7,817,247 votes compared to 4,873,987 'No' votes, a significant victory for the campaign

The 'Yes' campaign received 7,817,247 votes compared to 4,873,987 'No' votes, a significant victory for the campaign

The ‘Yes’ campaign received 7,817,247 votes compared to 4,873,987 ‘No’ votes, a significant victory for the campaign

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten celebrates the 'Yes' result with thousands outside the State Library of Victoria

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten celebrates the ‘Yes’ result with thousands outside the State Library of Victoria

Senator Penny Wong broke down in tears as the result was read out

Senator Penny Wong broke down in tears as the result was read out

Rain hail or shine! The adverse weather conditions didn't dampen the spirits of Adelaide-based 'Yes' supporters

Rain hail or shine! The adverse weather conditions didn’t dampen the spirits of Adelaide-based ‘Yes’ supporters

New South Wales was the only state or territory not to have a 60 per cent or higher majority of 'Yes' votes, with 57.8 per cent in favour of legalising gay marriage

New South Wales was the only state or territory not to have a 60 per cent or higher majority of 'Yes' votes, with 57.8 per cent in favour of legalising gay marriage

Emotional embraces, tears of joy and an overwhelming message of equality has washed over the nation after months of debate, abuse and pain

New South Wales was the only state or territory not to have a 60 per cent or higher majority of 'Yes' votes, with 57.8 per cent in favour of legalising gay marriage 

New South Wales was the only state or territory not to have a 60 per cent or higher majority of ‘Yes’ votes, with 57.8 per cent in favour of legalising gay marriage 

Many people were overcome with emotion as the result was read out

Many people were overcome with emotion as the result was read out

About time: Many people were overcome with emotion as the result was read out

Rainbow-coloured mohawks, men in wedding dresses and hundreds of same-sex rights flags have been spotted as the equality crusaders flocked to public areas for the announcement

Rainbow-coloured mohawks, men in wedding dresses and hundreds of same-sex rights flags have been spotted as the equality crusaders flocked to public areas for the announcement

Australian Bureau of Statistics boss David Kalisch revealed the result to parliament in Canberra on Wednesday, prompting widespread celebrations as supporters gathered at iconic landmarks across the country. 

Rainbow-coloured mohawks, men in wedding dresses and hundreds of same-sex rights flags have been spotted as the equality crusaders flocked to public areas for the announcement.

Billboards, businesses and even cruise liners have been draped in rainbows for the result that was voted by 79.5 per cent of those eligible.

Champagne, bubbles and confetti has covered the skies across the nation’s majority cities as parties kick off to celebrate the historic moment.

The Australian Capital Territory led the way for the ‘Yes’ campaign, with a monumental 74 per cent in favour of same-sex marriage.

Victoria was second with 64.9 per cent, with Western Australia third at 63.7 per cent.

New South Wales was the only state or territory not to have a 60 per cent or higher majority of ‘Yes’ votes, with 57.8 per cent in favour of legalising gay marriage.

Of the 150 Federal Electoral Divisions, 133 registered a majority ‘Yes’. 

Prince Alfred Park celebrations were hosted by high-profile faces of the ‘Yes’ vote, including legendary Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe, actress Magda Szubanski and singer John Paul Young.

Both Thorpe and Szubanski gave emotional addresses to the audience after the ‘Yes’ result came through.

City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore was also in attendance at the event that is expected to have well over a thousand attendees.

Emotional embraces, tears of joy and an overwhelming message of equality has washed over the nation after months of debate, abuse and pain

Emotional embraces, tears of joy and an overwhelming message of equality has washed over the nation after months of debate, abuse and pain

Prince Alfred Park celebrations were hosted by high-profile faces of the 'Yes' vote, including legendary Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe, actress Magda Szubanski and singer John Paul Young

Prince Alfred Park celebrations were hosted by high-profile faces of the ‘Yes’ vote, including legendary Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe, actress Magda Szubanski and singer John Paul Young

Both Thorpe and Szubanski gave emotional addresses to the audience after the 'Yes' result came through

Both Thorpe and Szubanski gave emotional addresses to the audience after the ‘Yes’ result came through

Same-sex marriage supporters have gathered across Australia for the landmark announcement of the same-sex marriage postal survey results 

Same-sex marriage supporters have gathered across Australia for the landmark announcement of the same-sex marriage postal survey results 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics announced the findings of the voluntary vote at a special hearing on Wednesday, with a majority of 61.6 per cent in favour of legalising gay marriage

The Australian Bureau of Statistics announced the findings of the voluntary vote at a special hearing on Wednesday, with a majority of 61.6 per cent in favour of legalising gay marriage

The 'Yes' vote had 7,817,247 total voters compared to 4,873,987, a significant victory for the campaign 

The ‘Yes’ vote had 7,817,247 total voters compared to 4,873,987, a significant victory for the campaign 

Billboards, businesses and even cruise liners have been draped in rainbows for the result that was voted by 79.5 per cent of those eligible 

Billboards, businesses and even cruise liners have been draped in rainbows for the result that was voted by 79.5 per cent of those eligible 

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull praised the nation for voting ‘overwhelmingly “Yes” for marriage equality, for fairness, for commitment and for love’.

‘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,’ Mr Turnbull said.

‘That must be our commitment. We ask the Australian people for their view. This was an unprecedented exercise in democracy.

‘Now, I know that many people, a minority obviously, voted “No”. But we are a fair nation. There is nothing more Australian than a fair go. There is nothing more Australian than equality and mutual respect.

‘Every one has had their say. That’s what we pledged at the last election. Many people stood in our way. The Labor Party, number of people on the crossbench and others. They didn’t want up toss have their say. We did.

‘We must respect the voice of the people. We ask them for their view, and they have given it to us. It is unequivocal. It is overwhelming.’

More people by percentage voted on the issue than Britons voted on Brexit and Americans voted in the Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton Presidential election.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull praised the nation for voting 'overwhelmingly "Yes" for marriage equality, for fairness, for commitment and for love'

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull praised the nation for voting ‘overwhelmingly “Yes” for marriage equality, for fairness, for commitment and for love’

'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,' Mr Turnbull said

‘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,’ Mr Turnbull said

Thousands of 'Yes' advocates have erupted in celebration at the designated areas throughout the country, including the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne and Prince Alfred Park in Sydney

Thousands of ‘Yes’ advocates have erupted in celebration at the designated areas throughout the country, including the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne and Prince Alfred Park in Sydney

The 'Yes' campaign received 7,817,247 votes compared to 4,873,987 'No' votes, a significant victory for the campaign

The 'Yes' campaign received 7,817,247 votes compared to 4,873,987 'No' votes, a significant victory for the campaign

The ‘Yes’ campaign received 7,817,247 votes compared to 4,873,987 ‘No’ votes, a significant victory for the campaign

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten described the result as a ‘fabulous day to be an Australian’.

‘Australians have voted for a generous view of themselves, for a modern Australia, where diversity is accepted, supported and respected,’ he told a marriage equality rally in Melbourne.

‘And I just want to make one promise, one promise: today we celebrate, tomorrow we legislate.’

Magda Szubanski led an emotional speech to thousands in Sydney’s Prince Alfred Park following the result. She has been a tireless advocate for gay rights.

‘When the announcement finally came through, it was the most incredible relief and joy and feeling of love and just sadness that we have been through this,’ she told hosts David Campbell and Sonia Kruger.

‘It was kind of one of those epic moments when you are having every single feeling all at once. But also enormous pride in this country.’ 

‘It is a win for all!’ Comedian Magda Szubanski dances, sings and wipes tears from her eyes as public vote YES to same-sex marriage

Victory! Surrounded by hundreds of people from the  LGBTQI community at Sydney's Prince Alfred Park, Magda was elated as the verdict was announced

Victory! Surrounded by hundreds of people from the LGBTQI community at Sydney’s Prince Alfred Park, Magda was elated as the verdict was announced

Szubanski also addressed the No campaign and said ‘there is no need for animosity.’

‘I just feel the most humbled gratitude to the people of Australia that they have been able to see through the BS that’s been put out there,’ she stated.

‘To the people who voted ‘No’, there is no need for animosity. I know people had their own reasons. It is a very small majority of people who really don’t like us.

‘Most people are OK they are just status quo people and we can all go forward together.’

The actress also went on to explain why she felt marriage equality was important to Australia as a nation.

‘You really can’t call yourself a democracy when you have one segment of the population that fully does not have the same legal rights,’ she said.

‘I think the fact that people have voted in favour of equality is a good sign. Not just for LGBTQI people but for the nation as a whole.

Really every one of us is a minority of some sort and we all want to have ourselves represented fully and contribute fairly. It is a win for all.’

Champion swimmer Ian Thorpe (pictured) has delivered an emotional speech after the live broadcast of the same sex marriage 'yes' vote

Champion swimmer Ian Thorpe (pictured) has delivered an emotional speech after the live broadcast of the same sex marriage ‘yes’ vote

Thorpe (pictured), 35, was heavily involved in the 'yes' campaign along with his law student boyfriend Ryan Channing

Thorpe (pictured), 35, was heavily involved in the ‘yes’ campaign along with his law student boyfriend Ryan Channing

Olympic legend Ian Thorpe also spoke to the mammoth crowd, at times having to pause to compose himself at the magnitude of the result.

‘Today of all days I am proud to be and to call myself an Australian,’ Thorpe told the crowd.

‘The result today is a resounding endorsement and reconfirmation for people like you and like me.’

Thorpe thanked his partner during the speech, and said he was proud to be involved as an advocate for marriage equality.

‘I had to ask my partner about this and I was grateful that he was prepared to be a part of this campaign as well. I was happy and proud,’ he said.

Leading light of the No campaign Tony Abbott found his electorate of Warringah voted 75% Yes

Leading light of the No campaign Tony Abbott found his electorate of Warringah voted 75% Yes

Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who is outspokenly against same-sex marriage despite having a lesbian sister, released a statement congratulating the ‘Yes’ campaign on their achievement.

‘The people have spoken and, of course, the parliament should respect the result,’ he wrote.

‘I also thank the 4.7 million Australians who supported marriage between a man and a woman.’

Mr Abbott said he looked forward to improving the Dean Smith bill ‘to implement same sex marriage with freedom of conscience for all, not just the churches.’

‘So far, this process has been a credit to us as a nation and now needs to be completed in a way that keeps us the best country in the world,’ he added.

The result of the voluntary survey is not binding but puts pressure on MPs to approve changed marriage laws.

Parliamentary debate to legalise same-sex marriage could begin as early as Thursday.

A cross-party group of senators – led by Liberal Dean Smith and supported by senior Labor figure Penny Wong, among others – will introduce a private bill to the upper house on Wednesday afternoon.

This means debate could start on Thursday morning, the Senate’s usual time for considering private bills.

Parliamentary debate to legalise same-sex marriage could begin as early as Thursday

Parliamentary debate to legalise same-sex marriage could begin as early as Thursday

A cross-party group of senators - led by Liberal Dean Smith and supported by senior Labor figure Penny Wong, among others - will introduce a private bill to the upper house on Wednesday afternoon

A cross-party group of senators – led by Liberal Dean Smith and supported by senior Labor figure Penny Wong, among others – will introduce a private bill to the upper house on Wednesday afternoon

This means debate could start on Thursday morning, the Senate's usual time for considering private bills

This means debate could start on Thursday morning, the Senate’s usual time for considering private bills

Mr Turnbull and other senior government ministers are backing the Smith bill as a good ‘starting point’ for debate.

It had the advantage of having been around for some months now, the prime minister said unlike an alternative bill proposed by conservative Liberal James Patterson.

‘People know what is in it and they know what its virtues are,’ Mr Turnbull said.

‘If they have problems in it they can move amendments to correct the defects.’

Timeline of the controversial same-sex marriage plebiscite

THE HIGH COURT CHALLENGES

Two groups of marriage equality advocates lodged papers with the High Court on August 10 challenging the postal survey, arguing the ABS did not have the power to run what is effectively a ballot, and the government couldn’t spend the $122 million needed to fund it, without parliamentary approval. The court dismissed both bids on September 7 and more than 16 million forms were sent out from September 12.

THE ELECTORAL ROLL CHANGES

After both sides of the debate urged Australians to have their say, almost one million changes were made to the electoral roll ahead of the survey. The ABS also revealed on August 25 there were 90,000 new names on the roll.

THE EXTREME POSTERS

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, on August 21, blasted a poster spotted in a Melbourne laneway carrying the slogan ‘stop the fags’, which appeared to trace back to the message board of a neo-Nazi website. He posted on Facebook that Labor had opposed the survey ‘because we feared exactly this kind of hurtful filth would emerge’. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told 2Day FM he was offended by such posters while defending the vast majority of people who do not agree with same-sex marriage, as not homophobic.

THE TELEVISION ADS

Groups on both sides of the debate produced television ads, including the Coalition for Marriage, whose piece, launch on August 30, featured three mothers concerned about how same-sex marriage would affect what was taught and promoted in schools.The Equality Campaign rebutted some claims in the Coalition’s ad with their own piece, featuring prominent doctor Kerryn Phelps. 

THE CELEBRITY OPINIONS

Olympic swimming champion Ian Thorpe joined the ‘Yes’ campaign on August 12, saying it was important for ‘the message it sends to a young me’. Singer Kylie Minogue and Hollywood stars Chris Hemsworth and Russell Crowe are among others to have backed same-sex marriage on social media, while Wallabies star Israel Folau tweeted he would not support same-sex marriage.

THE SKYWRITING

A ‘Vote NO’ message was written in the sky over Sydney on September 17, while a simple ‘NO’ was written above Melbourne on October 10. The skywriting appeared to be crowdfunded through a Go Fund Me page.

THE MACKLEMORE PERFORMANCE

American rapper Macklemore became immersed in the debate ahead of singing his 2012 chart-topper Same Love at the NRL grand final on October 1. Former prime minister Tony Abbott and right-wing independent MP Bob Katter slammed the NRL for inviting the rapper to perform, saying footy fans should not be subjected to a politicised grand final. Meanwhile Prime Minister Turnbull said he looked forward to the performance and Attorney-General George Brandis labelled Mr Abbott’s comments ‘bizarre’.

THE ABBOTT HEADBUTT

Mr Abbott revealed on September 21 he had been headbutted by a same-sex marriage supporter in Hobart. The 38-year-old attacker, who was charged with common assault, was later revealed as DJ Astro Labe who said while he had been wearing a ‘yes’ sticker, the attack was inspired by a personal hatred for Mr Abbott and had nothing to do with same-sex marriage.

THE WOMAN FIRED FOR VOTING NO

In September, a Canberra woman was fired for saying ‘It’s okay to vote no’ on Facebook, with her boss Madlin Sims calling it ‘homophobic hate speech’. Ms Sims, who runs a party entertainment company, said the woman was fired because she was ‘extremely out and proud about her views on homosexuals.’ ‘As someone who has an responsibility to the vulnerable people we work with, could not risk her voicing those opinions to any children of ours,’ she said.  

THE RALLIES

People across Australia attended rallies, with ‘Yes’ events held in Melbourne on August 26 and Sydney and Brisbane on September 10 attracting thousands of people, while an eight-strong counter-protest took place in Brisbane. About 20 same-sex marriage opponents turned out for a Straight Lives Matter rally in Sydney on September 23, while two women who locked lips during an anti-same-sex marriage event in Melbourne on the same day were dragged from a stage by security.

THE NO CAMPAIGNERS

Australian Conservatives senator Cory Bernardi said on August 22 that people involved in the ‘Yes’ campaign had been ‘militant and intolerant’ of those who favour a ‘No’ vote. Later in September reports emerged a contractor for a Canberra kids parties business was sacked for adding the message ‘it’s OK to vote no’ to her Facebook profile photo.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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