Wednesday was a day of celebration for the LBGTIQ community of Parkes when the results of the Marriage Law Postal Survey came out as an overwhelming yes. For Parkes couple Kasie Ferguson and Bianca Sheridan it was a joyous day. Although they were married in New York City in 2013, they were celebrating in Sydney as their marriage would now be legal in Australia too.
Other Parkes residents with family members in same-sex relationships were also ecstatic by the result, saying they were very happy for them. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) announced that 61.6% of the 16 million
eligible Australians supported changing the law to allow same-sex couples to marry and 38.4% did not.
In the Riverina electorate, which includes Parkes, a total of 47,333 people voted yes accounting for 54.6%, while 39,308 voted no (45.4%). A total of 77.4% of eligible voters in the Riverina took part in the survey, compared to 79.5% countrywide.
Riverina MP Michael McCormack said the vote showed democracy at work. “I am pleased nearly 80 percent of people voted, I think that shows that people wanted to have their say and now they have it is now up to the Parliament to uphold the will of the people and change the act accordingly.”
All states and territories recorded a majority Yes response. Of the 150 Federal Electoral Divisions, 133 recorded a majority Yes response, and 17 Federal Electoral Divisions recorded a majority No response. Australian Statistician, David W. Kalisch, said the participation rate was high for a voluntary survey.
“This high response rate far exceeds expectations and compares extremely favourably with other voluntary exercises conducted around the world thanks to the strong interest and engagement of eligible Australians in this topic,” he said.