Melbourne is an explosion of rainbows, tears of joy and excitement as “the most progressive state” in the nation celebrates the ‘yes’ result in the same-sex marriage survey.
Surrounded by ‘yes’ campaigners, Premier Daniel Andrews said it is time for federal MPs to legalise marriage equality.
“Can I just say how proud I am to be the premier of the most progressive state in our nation,” he said of Victoria’s 64.9 per cent ‘yes’ response, the second-highest of any state or territory.
“In political terms, this is more than a landslide, this is quite amazing and we now need as a nation to get on and get this done.”
Mr Andrews said it would be “unwise” for any political opponents to pursue a plebiscite or survey to try and frustrate progress.
“Fair is fair, love is love and equality is not negotiable, and that’s what Australians have voted for,” he told reporters.
Upper house Labor MP Harriet Shing said the process had been hard on the LGBTQI community.
“As the first out woman in the Victorian parliament I can say that it’s taken a huge toll for so many of us,” she told reporters.
“I can’t wait to see equality prevail.”
Outside Melbourne’s State Library, where the result was live streamed from Canberra, a crowd of thousands erupted with screams of joy as champagne corks exploded.
Kylie Minogue’s “Celebration” blasted while clouds of rainbow dust erupted over the revellers.
“This is the happiest day of my life. I’ve never felt this happy,” James Mead, 35, said, as tears streamed down his face.
Labor Leader Bill Shorten got on stage and yelled “yes, yes, yes”.
“Unconditional love always has the last word,” he said, apologising that the community had been forced to endure the survey.
For Teresa Butcher, Wednesday’s result was bittersweet.
“I had family and I’ve lost them through this after they decided to vote ‘no’,” she said.
“I’ve been removed from the family. I can’t celebrate with them, but there is so much love and support and my hope is that the people that voted no and didn’t think we were worthy will, in coming years, change their mind.”
Huge crowds are expected at a mass street party at Trades Hall in Melbourne, which kicks off at 5.30pm.