Australians vote in favor of same-sex marriage
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 11/15/17, 09:23 am
Australians have voted in favor of same-sex marriage in a postal survey that could lead to legal reforms before the end of the year. Australia’s Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday announced 61.6 percent of voters supported same-sex marriage, while 38.4 percent voted against it. Nearly 80 percent of more than 16 million registered voters cast ballots in the mail-in referendum. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called on lawmakers to heed the “overwhelming” result and commit to pass a same-sex marriage bill by next month. Liberal Senator Dean Smith on Wednesday introduced the bill, but conservative lawmakers are pushing to amend it to allow businesses the right to refuse services, such as baking wedding cakes, for same-sex weddings on religious grounds. “I look forward to a parliamentary process that improves on the Dean Smith bill to implement same-sex marriage with freedom of conscience for all, not just the churches,” said Tony Abbott, Australia’s former prime minister.
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