16 November, 2017
A jubilant Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Parliament needs to "get on with it" and pass the same sex marriage bill by Christmas.
Australians have voted in support of same-sex marriage - and Hollywooders are applauding the decision.
'I look forward to the Yes campaign.to honour their commitment that there would be no negative consequences and to fight to keep the freedoms of Australian people.
Australian Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe, who came out as gay three years ago, said the result was a huge relief.
Australia will become the 26th nation to formalise the unions if the legislation is passed by parliament, which is expected despite some vocal opposition within the government's conservative right wing.
David Kalisch, the chief statistician for the Australian Bureau of Statistics, said 61.6 percent of the votes were cast in support of same-sex marriage, with 38.4 percent against.
Some Coalition members also want specific laws to protect those with "traditional" views on marriage from discrimination and vilification laws.
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"It is unequivocal, it is overwhelming".
Almost 80 per cent of eligible voters took part in the poll, said the chief of the statistics bureau Davis Kalisch, adding: "Australians can have confidence these statistics reflect the view of the eligible population".
"Many Australians voted "No" because they fear a world where they won't be able to live their identity", Senator Smith said.
"Australia enjoy this moment - its yours.you have given hope to all who believe in equality", she added.
"I know a celebrant who is going to be very happy about this", Barry told Reuters.
'It's been a battle but actually today the battle to make sure that the freedoms of all Australians are protected still goes on, ' she said.
Turnbull and the opposition Labor Party have backed a simpler draft bill that legalises gay marriage while allowing religious institutions to refuse to Wednesday same-sex couples if they oppose the practice.