LOVE WON: Defaced George Michael mural in Australia gets a new look
A George Michael mural which has been defaced in the wake of the Yes vote for same-sex marriage in Australia has had a makeover.
It was announced on Wednesday that Australia had voted Yes in a historic nationwide survey on same-sex marriage.
Almost 13 million Australians (79.5%) voted in the country’s non-binding postal ballot – a bigger turnout than in even the UK’s EU referendum.
The historic vote follows in the footsteps of Ireland by endorsing same-sex marriage in a national vote.
Australia now looks likely to become the 25th country in the world to introduce marriage for same-sex couples.
But murals across Australia for same-sex marriage have been defaced since the vote, with black paint splashed across them.
One, of George Michael as Jesus, by artist Scott Marsh, has now had a makeover since being defaced.
The words “LOVE WON”, “FREEDOM IS LOVE”, and “LOVE WILL WIN” were written across the black paint.
Other murals across Australia have also been defaced since the historic vote.
A day after the Australian public voted Yes for same-sex marriage, emotions ran high as a bill was introduced into the country’s Parliament to legislate for the change.
With $22 million left from the budget of the Australian same-sex marriage vote, campaigners have said the money should go to support those hurt by campaigns against it.
Yes responses represented 61.6 percent of responses with 38.4 percent voting No.
The Government has since vowed to push forward to legislate same-sex marriage by Christmas, and Opposition leader Bill Shorten has also said the same.
Celebrations took place from early Wednesday morning as Yes campaign headquarters across Australia opened their doors ahead of the result.
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.
The public vote is not legally binding, so both houses still need to pass legislation for it to become legal.
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”.
Liberal James Paterson is to introduce the caveated bill that would override any anti-discrimination laws passed by state and territory level legislatures.
It will permit anyone who holds a religious or “conscientious belief” in traditional marriage to refuse same-sex weddings, allowing discrimination by private service providers.
The proposal comes after a bombshell poll found half of Australians support service providers being allowed to refuse same-sex weddings on the basis of private religious views.
Hardliners may also table a string of amendments if their desired bill doesn’t go through, in a bid to seriously change or slow the introduction.
However it seems unlikely same-sex marriage will not be introduced in some form, with the opposition Labor Party supporting the measure, and a majority of parliamentarians in favour.
When will the first same-sex marriages take place?
Same-sex marriage should become legal now the public vote has endorsed the move.
The vote will be followed by legislation, though there could be a bit of a wait for those who wish to marry.
The standard waiting time for legislation to take effect is 30 days.
However, this could be longer if the Government decides that celebrants and other officials need more time to get acquainted with the new law.