A gay couple got engaged live on TV just after Australia said Yes to same-sex marriage
A gay couple got engaged after two and a half years together just minutes after Australia’s vote Yes for same-sex marriage was announced.
Stuart proposed to his boyfriend shortly after the announcement of the vote live on ABC News.
Almost 13 million Australians voted in the country’s non-binding postal ballot – a bigger turnout than in even the UK’s EU referendum.
And he said yes!
The couple were one of many who talked excitedly about their plans to marry, including a couple who had been together for 44 years before the vote.
They broke down in tears, thanking Australians for the Yes vote, and saying they were feeling more relieved to be a step closer to legal protections that marriage could offer.
12,727,920 people responded to the survey with a response rate of 79 percent.
A third couple said they had been together for nearly eighteen years, joking that they may have even been divorced, if they had been able to marry after eight months, when they had wanted to.
Celebrations took place from early Wednesday morning as Yes campaign headquarters across Australia opened their doors ahead of the result.
And celebrations continued after the result, spilling out onto the streets of Australia.
The No campaign conceded defeat, having previously said it would settle for a result over 40 percent, with Tony Abbott, former Prime Minister, claiming that would be a “moral” victory.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who is a personal supporter of the equality law, pledged that his government would support the move in the case of a Yes vote.
The public vote is not legally binding, so both houses still need to pass legislation for it to become legal.
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Monday is the first day that a same-sex marriage bill can be tabled in the House of Representatives, which is not sitting this week.
A bill must pass in both houses before it can be signed into law by the Governor-General.
Hardline anti-LGBT MPs within the governing Liberal-National Coalition say they will not be conceding – even if the public gives a strong backing for equality.
Two bills will be proposed to parliament – one by a coalition of same-sex marriage supporters proposing simply to introduce the other measure, and another by a right-wing Senator proposing same-sex marriage, but with various “religious freedoms”.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull vowed to “get on with it” and to legislate for same-sex marriage before Christmas.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten has celebrated a Yes vote for same-sex marriage, and said that “today we celebrate, tomorrow we legislate”.