- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Australia is poised to become the 26th nation to legalize gay marriage after the results of a survey were revealed Wednesday showing a majority support redefining the marital union to include same-sex couples.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported 61.6 percent of Australians support such a measure, while 38.4 percent are against it. Votes were cast by 12.7 million people, nearly 80 percent of the nation, in the non-compulsory postal survey between Sept. 12 and Nov. 7.

The poll is non-binding, but parliament promised to put forward a proposal to legalize same-sex marriage if voters supported it.

Gay rights groups in the United States and abroad celebrated the outcome of the survey.

“We congratulate Australia’s LGBTQ advocates and allies who worked so hard to ensure a victory in this postal survey,” Ty Cobb, director of the Human Rights Campaign Global, said in a statement. “It’s crucial that loving, committed same-sex couples in Australia have the same rights and protections that come with marriage. We urge the Australian Parliament to take swift action ensuring marriage equality becomes the law of the land.”

Supporters of same-sex marriage with rainbow-colored flags gathered in city squares across Melbourne in anticipation the announcement. Rainbow-colored smoke and confetti erupted following the poll’s release.

Politicians are expected to take up the matter as early as this week.

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