Australia Says YES To Same Sex Marriage

Image: Getty

From September to November, Australians had the opportunity to have their say on whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry in an expensive postal survey that turned out to be just a little bit of a shemozzle. Today, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released the official results of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey.

And it's an emphatic "YES"!

The Australian political landscape has been an absolute nightmare for the last four months (you can argue longer if you like). Human rights violations on Manus Island, the citizenship cataclysm that Scott Ludlam began… Yet there is one issue that has dominated the landscape: whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

Now it’s official.

At 10am this morning, ABS head David Kalisch announced that the majority of Australians who participated in the survey want same-sex marriage to be legal. 7,817,247 people responded "yes" which worked out to 61.6% of the total. Every state and territory recorded a majority yes result over of over 60% with the exception of NSW which had a majority yes result of 57%. Almost 80% of eligible Australians returned their survey.

What Does This Mean For Same-Sex Marriage Now?

The result of the postal survey is non-binding and the Australian Government is not legally bound to legalise same-sex marriage.

However, WA Senator Dean Smith will introduce his private members bill to make same-sex marriage legal tomorrow, November 16. Previously, the Government has stated that they will facilitate a ‘free vote’ or ‘conscience vote’ on this, or a similar bill, where politicians will be allowed to vote based on personal preference, rather than party lines.

His draft bill has been floating around for a couple of months and, at its most basic level, suggests changing the terminology in the Marriage Act from “between a man and a woman” to between “two people”.

It really is that simple.

There are other changes in the draft bill, such as those who have the authority to carry out the marriage process. If you want to see the draft bill, you can head here. You can find a more detailed breakdown of the survey results on the ABS website.



    40% said no, 20% didn't vote, considering all who wanted SSM did vote, it may be closer to a 50/50 split.

      it's more likely the ones who didn't vote didn't care one way or the other, or were leaning to yes but figured yes would win anyway and didn't bother.

      Now to wait for the "Yes voters used illegal tactics" and the "yes voters stole ballots" from the no side.

      I'm not sure how "Did Not Vote" = "No"

      Perhaps the people that didn't vote just don't have an opinion? They don't want to stop it but don't care if it goes ahead.

      40% said no, 20% didn't vote, considering all who don't want SSM did vote, it may be closer to a 70/30 split.

      Which is pretty disappointing... I expected better of the general public. Famous last words right there.

      That point was actually raised in the ABS press conference. The yes vote was slightly below the amount required to still guarantee a yes vote, if everyone that didn't vote, had voted no.

      It's safe to assume that the people who didn't vote just didn't care and if they were forced to vote most would have voted yes since the issue doesn't affect them. It's almost certain that everyone who was against it returned a vote.

        Au contraire, everyone who WANTS it would have ensured their views are heard, thus would have voted YES. Undecided, did-not-care, would be most likely to abstain.

          So basically you are saying that of the people who care about the outcome, 61% wanted to legalise gay marriage, 39% did not. Which makes this discussion a waste of time!

      a bit over 60% responded Yes of an ~80% return, so over all enrolled voters:
      ~50% Responded Yes
      ~30% Responded No
      ~20% Abstained/Did Unable to Participate/Were Late/Submitted an Illegible Response

      I don't think you can basic math.
      4 million voted no.
      7 million voted yes.
      Thats an almost doubling over the no vote. Far far from a 50-50 split.

      Brexit had a lower participation rate, a much closer result and is still being assumed as going to happen. Your point is?

      Also worth noting that no Australian election has 100% turnout. Given how close the last election was, neither 2 parties was elected by more than 50% of people eligible to vote.

    this is tech news how ?

      This article is a crosspost from our friends at Lifehacker on a very important issue, relevant to all Australians, including those who work at and read Gizmodo.

      For a science angle, this might be more relevant to your interests:

        nope couldn't care less on either issue, and not seeing the relevance to tech.

          The survey was conducted by the ABS. Statistics are science. There is a lot of statistically interesting information in the results.

          Then why have you commented several times on seperate articles whinging about it? If you truly did not care, You would not have clicked on the article and commented on it.

        so we will have posts from church groups now too on important issues for all Australians? This stuff is crossing the line of what this site was/is about or theme.. otherwise you degrade it into a general news site... and thats not why I come here.

          Nope, we stick to science on Gizmodo :)

            this is science how?

              Statistics is science.

                So is statistics on religion, or racism, .. exactly whats been said this topic is totally off what Gizmodo is meant to be about.

                How deep is the rabbit hole ?

                How far off beam to we get before Gizmodo is now a social commentary?Lets post stats on the hatred towards men, or people of religion? where does it stop?

                Its a slippery slope here, I suggest posts like these stop, and we get back on track of real science and tech, and not social commentary, there are plenty of sites for that!

                  It's not really a slippery slope. Stick with national surveys conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. So this and the census.

                  I suggest posts like these stop, and we get back on track of real science and tech, and not social commentary, there are plenty of sites for that!

                  I suggest if you want editorial control over Gizmodo that you should apply for a managerial position with Allure Media, or it's parent company Fairfax.

              statistics, man! it doesn't even matter what the vote was for, all those numbers and percentages.

          I suspect John Sheppard, Real_Aussie (good grief!) and saywot are disgruntled sour no voters looking to stir up trouble.

          In response to your comments, if you're all merely just peeved about Gizmodo not acting in accordance with what you think they should be writing/commenting on, then why on earth did you open it, read it and then go even further to comment on it?

          Nope, not buying it.

          You have all gone to far too much effort for readers who are merely annoyed at this not being a tech article.

          Equality means equality for all. Accept it and stop being sour

            just like you have to accept people will still have their view wether religious based, ethical , or moral. this is what happens when you post trigger posts like these, too much extremism on both sides, and it doesn't belong here.

              You are correct people can have views. But a view shouldn't remove the freedom of someone else to do something that everyone else in the population can do. The people have spoken. Now its up to Parliament to finish it so we can get on with issues that actually effect the country as opposed to people who are worried the world is going to collapse because same sex couples can get married.

            yes accept that almost half of Australia doesn't accept it ! works both ways!

              Not sure when 38.4% became "almost half"

                38.4% become almost half when your bad at maths or your trying to twist a result to suit your political agenda.

          Giz has been posting about politics for years. Non-tech stuff is nothing new.

      As I like to think in these situations- if anyone publishes something that you don't think should be there, you can always ask for a refund.

        I have to say, I don't understand how you got so many upvotes, your comment basically says keep your opinion to yourself unless you're paying for the privilege. He's entitled to his opinion, otherwise whats the point of having a forum attached to the page? As for it being free, well sure, if you don't count the ads and whatever the hell else they do with your info when you log in. How about you keep your smarmy opinions to yourself, or are you paying for the privilege?

          Hi nodeity! Everyone is entitled to express their opinion. I'm more saying that a news service which shares news that is of no interest to you and it costs you nothing, it's a bit useless complaining about it. If the content is offensive, sure- but if it's just is not of personal interest? I just don't see the point in complaining, especially when it's reporting on something which has brought joy to a majority of the community. One might as well complain about visiting a friend's house because they're watching a show one doesn't like.

          In terms of it's relevance to Gizmodo, it relates to statistics, budget and sociology- all topics within the domain of Gizmodo. It's certainly got more relevance to Lifehacker or even Kotaku, but given the survey's pervasiveness over the last few months, its absence here would have been more noteworthy than its presence.

          Hope you got the result you voted for today!

            You completely missed my point, besides the clearly disdainful attitude you showed to his comment. He is entitled to his opinion on a forum, which is what this is, whether you agree with him or not. As it happens, I also believe that Gizmodo is very quickly being turned into a Lifehacker clone. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Gizmodo is ultimately consumed by Lifehacker and the name dropped altogether. But that's just my opinion.

    The vote was unnecessary, it's not binding and was a waste of $120mil. The fact is, it's nobody's business except the people who want to legalise a relationship they are in. It has nothing to do with politics, the church or those who believe they are entitled to an opinion on what others do in their personal lives. Hopefully, now we can just get on with legalising SSM and put it behind us.

      Yup move on , no more stories about this thanks!

      I heard a rather interesting agrument that the 120mil should be seen as an investment as it has just opened up a billion dollar industry! More weddings, more cakes, more flowers to be sold! Plus, now instead of sending this money to New Zealand (I do love New Zealand though), the money could be spent here. I think business Won’t want to miss out on the dollars even if given the chance to chose, and those who refuse will probably find most people will then refuse to do business with them

        "those who refuse will probably find most people will then refuse to do business with them"

        You must think our way or no way, this is the sort of total intolerance an ignorance that started this whole mess.

        People should be free to think and act without prejudice, its as bad as the doctor who said no, and people wanted her fired for not thinking they way they wanted her to. Total prejudice !

        Last edited 15/11/17 1:31 pm

          To be fair though, if a business can exercise its freedom of choice in not serving someone due to religious beliefs, can't I exercise my own freedom of choice in not going to that business?

          As with the doctor example, it's not about what you think, but what you do...

          Last edited 15/11/17 3:05 pm

            but its not, people get windows smashed for displaying a sign, punched up, said they should be fired all cause their moral, ethical views are not aliened to the noise, violence and verbal vitriol of the left?

              You do realise that the safest Liberal electorates (i.e ‘Right’) all voted yes and the electorates that voted no were Labor electorates (i.e ‘Left’)...

          There's more than enough florists, bakers, photographers and celebrants that if some choose not to service SSM then good luck to them. I think they should be allowed to as long as they make their stance public. Then other customers can choose whether to go there too.

          Maybe a sign in the window. It might say something like "we only serve straight white people because the bible says everyone else is an abomination or slave".

    And the absolute shitshow continues:

    The proposed bill wants to: changing the terminology in the Marriage Act from “between a man and a woman” to between “two people”.

    But the survey question was:
    Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?

    So, onto the actual results:
    - 61% is actually a terrible result
    - 79% participation rate is insane
    - 25-29yo age group lowest turnout (71%), while older groups are higher
    - Implying people made a big effort to vote NO.
    - NSW has lower YES vote percent than QLD, hahahahahahahahaha.

      But the survey question was:
      The no side were saying from the get-go that the public were being asked to "vote" on the outcome without knowledge of how it was going to be implemented.

      The proposed bill wants to: changing the terminology in the Marriage Act from “between a man and a woman” to between “two people”.

      But the survey question was: Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?

      I have read this multiple times and I don't understand what you are trying to say?

        Legally defined sexes within Australian law, and 'two people', are completely different things.

        Male, female, 'other' (I dont know the variations of this) are at least three of the legally accepted sexes within Australian law. Therefore, using the wording of the survey, a man and an 'other' could not marry.

          Ah the old Mark Latham mental gymnastics..

          You don't believe more than two genders exist... but you are also terrified that the wording they are changing it to is allowing people of other genders to marry.

          So what.. you are terrified the government is going to let people who don't exist from marrying?

          Please pick just one of these ridiculous arguments. You can't have both.

            Wtf are you talking about. You're the one introducing 'genders' and bullshit.

            The Australian law defines sex, and there are at least three legally recognised sexes in Australia. Fact.

            The survey question asked about same-sex marriage. Fact.

            Considering the above, with 3 or more sexes, then the initial question on the survey was blatantly stupid as it allowed the possibility of two people to not be able to marry.

            The proposed bill has different wording than the survey, which is fairly fucking retarded isn't it. It's the correct version, however.

    while on a roll, can we try again for a vote on becoming a republic?

    So 40% believe the error-riddled Bible is the literal word of God. Good to know Oz!

      Not everyone who says no is religious. Just like you can be moral without religion. You dont get to say what people think. You get to accept everyone has a right to their view wether you agree with it or not, that includes people who think No!

        The position of most of those opposed to SSM is informed by the words of the Bible that was ingrained in them from when they were youngsters, whether at a private religious school or around the dinner table by more traditional and religious elders. Even if those once-youngsters are now non-religious they still carry those prejudices that were drilled into them from when they were highly impressionable. Shaking off discriminatory social/moral views is a long, hard process. But yes, the anti-SSM lobby and supporters are overwhelmingly driven by religiously-derived prejudices -- consciously or sub-consciously.

          your narrow stereo typical view is very disturbing, and reeks of extreme left conformity with intolerance and misunderstanding, with no data to back up anything you are saying beyond your own belief system.

            No, the very disturbing view comes from those who believe that people who are attracted to the same sex cannot be afforded the same rights as those attracted to the opposite sex.
            No data!? Who are all the anti-SSM leaders and reps? Can you name me one whose position isn't grounded in religion?


                And -- if you don't mind me asking -- what's your reason for opposition?

                  Nothing to do with religion I assure you .

      Just to let you know, there are religions that don't believe in the bible.. Just like there are religions that don't have God in them, try to be a little more open minded please before you offend everyone.

      You really think it's that high? What 40% 'No' votes means is that we can put to bed the myth that the only no voters are small minded religious bigots and maybe accept that there are reasons one may be against SSM beyond blanket homophobia.

    All well and good, but was the legislation for the plebiscite (opinion poll) legal as many of the MPs that voted for it were not eligible to be in parliament. Oh hang on, the yes vote won so no crying foul allowed ????????????

      The Legislation for the plebiscite was defeated in the Parliament. The survey we've had was directly ordered by the government using an emergency fund for unforeseen expenses, authorised by Mathias Corrman (who is eligible to sit in Parliament).

      While the legitimacy of this funding model was challenged in the High Court, the High Court ruled that the use of the money in this case was both legal and legitimate. Therefore, the survey was conducted with legal approval in a way that bypassed the usual legislative process.

      The only legislation that was passed related to extending election-style advertising laws to the survey, meaning that Yes and No material had to meet the same standards for citations and truthfulness as regular election materials.

      There was no vote on conducting the survey. Mathias Cormann gave the money to the ABS to conduct it under The Finance Minister's Advance.

    The public has spoken. 60% want to legalise ssm. Those who didn't vote are irrelevant.

    The liberal government will legalise it but do so with provisions in place for religious institutions to opt out of gay marriage and families to opt out of programs like safe schools.

    Win win.

    Unfortunately I can't see a labour government offering such protections for those with traditional values.

    Up next...laws to eliminate genetic dissorders. The government will decide who your spouse is. Sex outside marriage will carry a death sentance. Rapists will be recipients of a chainsaw education.

      No need to go over the top Sean, SSM is not compulsory.

      You left out "All men will be fired into the sun," "Dogs and cats, living together, egad, the end times are upon us" and "Compulsory hardcore gay sex education will begin in kindergarten, won't someone think of the children."

    I wonder how many people voted yes purely because they were sick of them going on and on even though they didn't want it. I sure know of a few.

      I imagine it's the people who couldn't think of a reason not to.

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