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Australia votes to legalize same-sex marriage in non-binding postal survey

[JURIST] The Australian Bureau of Statistics [official website] on Wednesday announced the results [vote] of a national postal survey on Australia's marriage law in which voters voted that Australia's marriage law should be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry.

The "yes" vote had 61.6 percent of the national votes, and was the majority in every state and territory in Australia. The "yes" response won in 133 of the 150 Federal Electoral Divisions, and the "no" response won the remaining 17 divisions. 79.5 percent of all eligible voters participated in the postal survey.

Although the results of the vote are not binding, Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull [official website] has stated [transcript] that the changes to the law should be enacted before Christmas. The introductions of the amendments regarding the issue will begin to be introduced Thursday in the Senate.

This vote makes Australia one of several countries that have recently made steps to legalizing same-sex marriage. In February a law in Slovenia came into force [JURIST report] that allowed same-sex marriages. Finland's parliament also voted [JURIST report] to allow same-sex marriage in February.

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