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Another Liberal Senator backs alternative same sex marriage bill

Another Liberal Senator backs alternative same sex marriage bill

Some 61.6 percent of the more than 12 million people who took part in the government-run postal survey backed marriage equality, with 38.4 percent against, the Australian Bureau of Statistics announced on Wednesday.

Australia has said "yes" to legalizing same-sex marriage after a controversial two-month national postal survey.

"Together we have achieved something truly remarkable, a win for fairness and equality, not only for the LGBTI community and our families, but for all Australians", he said.

If successful, the Prime Minister has said that parliament should resolve the issue before they break for Christmas.

But there is still a long way to go before the same-sex marriage becomes legal in Australia.

'This is not a marriage equality bill.

The crowd of Australian expats and tourists packed into The Australian Bar in midtown Manhattan, New York, where I was watching the vote, broke into applause and cheers of relief as the numbers were finally announced by the Australian Statistician, the country's rarely-heard from number-cruncher-in-chief.

Advocates of same-sex unions criticized parliament for holding the postal vote - saying the nearly two-month campaign saw a surge in calls to mental-health helplines as opponents warned that changing the law could harm children and lead to radical sex education in schools.

But, several politicians have previously said they would vote against a change in the law regardless of public opinion.

A group of conservatives have been working on legislation that would provide strong protections for religious freedoms in the event of a yes vote.

But they also include exemptions for religious organizations to refuse to hold same-sex weddings.

"I've never believed that allowing same-sex couples to marry needs to come at the expense of the freedoms of other Australians".

'Australians have voted for equality, not more discrimination.

The latest polls suggest more than 60 per cent of people have voted yes.