The results of Australia’s postal survey vote regarding marriage equality are in, and it’s a ‘Yes’ (61.6% yes, 38.4 no%). Yes! Good news. All states and territories recorded a majority ‘Yes’ response. (It still has to make it into law by Australia’s parliament. 12/7/2017: It’s official. Australian Parliament Approves Same-Sex Marriage).
As New York Times notes, the record of subjecting same-sex marriage to a public vote remains mixed, though.
‘.. In 2015, Ireland was the first country to legalize same-sex marriage by referendum, but the same year, voters in Slovenia rejected a law legalizing such unions.
In the United States, numerous states outlawed same-sex marriage in referendums; in 2012, Maine, Maryland and Washington became the first states to legalize such unions by referendum. The United States Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage across the nation in 2015.
The survey in Australia was controversial, not only because it placed such a thorny issue at the whims of direct democracy but also because of its cost (about US$ 97 million).
As the deadline approached for citizens to mail in their ballots, passions were inflamed by heartfelt pleas and vitriolic attacks’.