By Sean Car
The people of Melbourne have spoken and the results are in: 84 per cent in favour of marriage equality – the highest in Australia!
The CBD was the centre of great anticipation and nerves last month, as thousands of yes voters gathered outside the State Library on November 15 to await the results of the national postal vote on legalising same-sex marriage.
As Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) statistician David W Kalisch announced to the nation that “yes” had outnumbered “no” 61.6 per cent to 38 per cent, Melbourne erupted into a sea of colour, celebration and euphoria.
However, the emotional toll of the campaigning that surrounded this often divisive and ugly survey was also clear for all to see, as many relieved members of the LGBTQI community broke into tears and embraced those around them.
The party continued in the city long into the night, as rainbow coloured crowds moved celebrations down to the Trades Hall on Lygon St to enjoy an evening of music and entertainment.
It was an historic result in our nation’s history and one the people of Melbourne can take great pride in having helped deliver.
Out of the 150 federal electoral divisions, Melbourne recorded the equal highest rate of yes voters in the country, along with Sydney, at 83.7 per cent.
This was closely followed by the seat of Melbourne Ports, which includes Southbank and the City of Port Phillip, with 82 per cent voting in favour of marriage equality.
In an address posted on Twitter, Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said he wasn’t surprised that the people of Melbourne had led the way in voting for equality.
“What an historic day,” he said. “We’ve just had, in political terms, a landslide of a vote – a vote for same-sex marriage and marriage equality.”
“And you know something that doesn’t surprise me. It doesn’t surprise me that Melbourne, the bit I represent, just 38 square kilometres here in the centre of our great city voted even more overwhelmingly at about 84 per cent yes.”
“It’s a remarkable decision. It’s a remarkable moment in our history. Now let’s get on with it and make marriage equality a reality.”
With Victoria also recording the highest number of yes voters (65 per cent) of any state, Premier Daniel Andrews said he was proud to lead the most progressive state in Australia.
“I never doubted the progressive capital,” he said. “It truly is an honour and a privilege to lead this state.”
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has told the nation that marriage equality will be legislated by Christmas.