Wednesday November 15, 2017
10:05 AM GMT+8

UPDATED:
November 15, 2017
01:28 PM GMT+8

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Supporters of the same-sex marriage 'Yes' vote gather to celebrate the announcement in a Sydney park on November 15, 2017. — AFP pic Supporters of the same-sex marriage 'Yes' vote gather to celebrate the announcement in a Sydney park on November 15, 2017. — AFP pic SYDNEY, Nov 15 — Australians have voted overwhelmingly in favour of same-sex marriage, in a historic nationwide survey that will now go to parliament to give it the force of law.

Nearly 80 per cent of eligible voters took part in the two-month postal survey, with 61.6 per cent of respondents saying “yes” to gay unions, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said this morning.

Here is a timeline of key moments in marriage rights in Australia.

1961: Australia introduces its first Marriage Act, but it does not include a formal definition of marriage

1975: South Australia becomes the first state to decriminalise male homosexuality

1976-1997: Other states and territories decriminalise male homosexuality

2004: The Marriage Act is amended to add the definition that “marriage means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others”

2009: De facto couples are given similar rights to those who are married

2013: Federal Labor government makes it unlawful to discriminate against LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bi, trans, intersex, queer) people

2015: Conservative coalition government commits to a national plebiscite proposal on same-sex marriage

November, 2016: Upper house Senate rebuffs the government’s plans for a national plebiscite on gay unions

August, 2017: Senate knocks backs national plebiscite proposal again, government pushes ahead with a national voluntary postal vote

September, 2017: Ballot papers for the postal vote are sent out

November 15, 2017: Some 61.6 per cent of eligible Australians vote in favour of changing the law to allow same-sex couples to marry. — AFP

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