Same sex marriage was banned in Australia in 2004 after the government changed the Marriage Act and defined marriage as 'marriage between a man and a woman'. In 2015 when the new government proposed to have a national compulsory vote on same-sex marriage before changing the law, the opposition blocked the compulsory attendance vote, which then lead the government to launch a voluntary national survey to allow the Australian people to make the final decision. The campaign lasted two long months and had it's disturbing moments like when rainbow flags were painted with Nazi symbols in Brisbane along with warnings from the "no" camp that same sex marriage would lead to "radical gay sex" education at schools.
But today the people of Australia made their decision.
More than 12.7 million people across Australia took part in the historical survey to legalize same sex marriage, returning with a 61.6% of votes - "yes."
With the results rolling in making Australia the 26th nation to legalize same-sex marriage, after countries like the US, UK and Canada, celebrations broke out across the country.
At a rally in Melbourne the opposition leader Bill Shorten said: “It may have been 61% who voted yes in the survey, but I want to say to all LGBTQI Australians, you are 100% loved, 100% valued and after the next two weeks of Parliament 100% able to marry the person you love”.
I say LOVE because that's what it all boils down to - allowing people to love whoever they want without judgement or fear. If anything, it is shocking this is only happening in 2017 or that there are only 26 nations who have legalizes something that in my opinion shouldn't have had a law against in the first place.
Now I know that for many people this result is difficult to take in. I know that for many it contradicts the values they grew up on, their faith and beliefs. But for me it is about humans being allowed to be who they truly are and share their lives with whoever they choose.
Because I cannot imagine living in a world that dictates who we should love and nothing gave me more pleasure than telling my 6-year-old daughter this morning about the vote and the historical results.
She looked at me and asked: "but why weren't they allowed to get married before the vote?".
Embracing the rainbow colors this morning and sending a massive congratulations to Australians and the LGBT community.
You are loved!