The results of the gay marriage postal survey are in, and Australia has answered with a resounding Yes.

The ABS announced this morning that 61.6% of survey respondents are in favour of changing the law to allow same-sex couples to marry.

All states and territories recorded a majority Yes response. The highest Yes response rate of 74.0% was received from the ACT. The lowest Yes rate of 57.8% was received from the NT. In WA, 63.7% of respondents returned a Yes response, and every WA federal electorate returned a Yes majority.

Nearly 80% of all eligible Australians participated in the survey, with high participation rates recorded across all age groups.

The result comes after four months of campaigning marred by accusations of vandalism, bullying and hate speech. UWA Student Guild Pride Representative Rigel Gio Medequiso Paciente noted that while the survey results were a cause for celebration, members of the LGBTQIA+ community are still feeling the effects of the No campaign: “Although the results were positive, it was still a terrible process that everyone had to go through. So even though the end results were great, we have to acknowledge the fact that some people might still be feeling the effects of the No campaign…[and] that there is still another step involved: passing the bill.”

Following the results Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that same-sex marriage could be legalised by Christmas: “Australians voted for marriage equality…And now it is up to us, here in the Parliament of Australia to get on with it, to get on with the job the Australian people have tasked us to do and get this done, this year, before Christmas — that must be our commitment.”

A same-sex marriage bill written by WA Liberal Senator Dean Smith was presented to the Senate this afternoon, and has already received support from Labor and the Greens.

Words by Mara Papavassiliou, art by Marney Anderson