Australia votes 'yes' to same-sex marriage
In Australia, everything's trying to kill you, from poisonous snakes to giant muscular kangaroos to creepy moth-caterpillar-worm hybrids. But you know what's crazier than the creatures? The fact that in The Land Down Under, gay marriage is still illegal in 2017. C'mon, mates! That's not very ripper. Crikey.
But now we have some great news! All you bogans better bust out the vegemite, put on your finest thongs and play "It's Raining Men" on the didgeridoo. After a two month national survey, Australians have emphatically voted to legalize same-sex marriage, 61.6% to 31.4%.
In Melbourne, Australia's cool artsy hipster city, celebrations were lit. Cheers, confetti, singing, dancing, rainbow-colored smoke, couples collapsing in tears, kangaroos tongue-kissing emus - Aussies haven't been this excited since Crocodile Dundee 2 was greenlit.
While the vote itself doesn't legalize gay marriage, it makes the outcome very likely. The two-month voluntary postal survey got an incredible 80% voter turnout (what's the voter turnout in the U.S.? 8%? 0.08%?). That's a decisive vote for social change, after years of political stagnation.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, "it means Australia is poised to join 25 other countries that have granted marriage equality to gay couples, including the US, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom." They also reported the leader of the opposing party "conceded defeat" and "accepted the democratic decision of the people."
In other words, if you're a gay Aussie who wants to get married in 2018 - "No worries, mate!"
And if you're a gay Aussie who doesn't want to get married but your lover really wants to get married: "Be very worried, mate."
Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called the response "overwhelming" and said they must be committed to legalizing same-sex marriage before Christmas:
"They voted 'yes' for fairness, they voted 'yes' for commitment, they voted 'yes' for love. And now it is up to us here in the Parliament of Australia to get on with it - to get on with the job the Australian people have tasked us to do, and get this done this year, before Christmas. That must be our commitment."
Gay Liberal senator Dean Smith declared this vote to be Australia's most important electoral mandate:
"This is by any and every measure a huge democratic achievement for our country. I have never been more proud to stand up and represent Australian people than I was this morning when I listened to that result."
Opposition Labor Party leader Bill Shorten also made a strong statement of support:
"I feel for young people who had their relationships questioned in a way I wouldn't have thought we would see ever again, but nevertheless what this marriage equality survey shows is that unconditional love always has the last word...Australians have voted for a generous view of themselves, for a modern Australia, where diversity is accepted, supported and respected. Today we celebrate, tomorrow we legislate."
It's not a perfect world - just last week, an American father allegedly killed his 14-year-old son for being gay. But the world does seem to be getting better. So, good on ya, 'Straya! Now you can "root" for whoever you want! The next Foster's on me. (Ask any Australian - Foster's is their favorite beer. It's all they drink.)