Australians have given their government an overwhelming mandate to craft and enact legislation making same-sex marriage equal, recognized, fair.

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA — Australians have voted 61.6 per cent in favour of same-sex marriage, with 38.4 per cent voting against, in a historic national postal survey. Participation was high, with 79.5 percent of voting-age Australians returning their ballots by post to be counted. The result, announced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday, paves the way for Parliament to officially consider passage of a same-sex marriage bill.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, in a succinct address to the nation following the results (produced below), made clear his intent for marriage equality to be legal in Australia by Christmas of this year:

“The Australian people have had their say, and they have voted overwhelmingly Yes for marriage equality.

They voted overwhelmingly for fairness, for commitment, for love. And now it’s our job as the Australian Parliament, all of us here, to get on with it, and get this done before Christmas.

The people of Australia have spoken and I intend to make their wish the law by Christmas. This is an overwhelming call for marriage equality.”

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