Australians celebrate same-sex marriage vote

Celebrations swept across Australia Wednesday as voters emphatically endorsed same-sex marriage after more than a decade of divisive debate, and political leaders immediately began moves to enshrine the historic shift in law by Christmas.

Thousands of marriage equality supporters took to parks and squares across the vast country, hugging, dancing and singing under clouds of glitter when the results of the two-month-long postal survey were announced.

Revelers wrapped in rainbow colors swarmed the entertainment districts of Sydney, Melbourne and other cities, closing streets as the party continued late into the evening.

Almost 62 percent of the 12.7 million people who participated voted “yes” to the question: “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”

Just 38.4 percent voted “no”, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which carried out the poll.

Nearly 80 percent of eligible voters took part in the poll, with the “yes” vote winning a majority in all of Australia’s states and territories. (AFP)

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Australians celebrate same-sex marriage vote

Supporters of the ‘Yes’ vote for marriage equality celebrate after it was announced the majority of Australians support same-sex marriage in a national survey, paving the way for legislation to make the country the 26th nation to formalise the unions by the end of the year, at a rally in central Sydney, Australia, Nov. 15, 2017. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters)

Australians celebrate same-sex marriage vote

Supporters of the ‘Yes’ vote for marriage equality celebrate after it was announced the majority of Australians support same-sex marriage in a national survey, paving the way for legislation to make the country the 26th nation to formalize the unions by the end of the year, at a rally in central Sydney, Australia, Nov. 15, 2017. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters)

Australians celebrate same-sex marriage vote

Supporters of the same-sex marriage ‘Yes’ vote gather to celebrate the announcement in a Sydney park on Nov. 15, 2017. (Photo: William West/AFP/Getty Images)

Australians celebrate same-sex marriage vote

Supporters of the ‘Yes’ vote for marriage equality celebrate after it was announced the majority of Australians support same-sex marriage in a national survey, paving the way for legislation to make the country the 26th nation to formalize the unions by the end of the year, at a rally in central Sydney, Australia, Nov. 15, 2017. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters)

Australians celebrate same-sex marriage vote

Crowds supporting the Same Sex Marriage Survey party down Oxford St., in the heart of Sydney’s gay precinct on November 15, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by James Alcock/Getty Images)

Australians celebrate same-sex marriage vote

A couple kiss as they sit at their window as crowds supporting the Same Sex Marriage Survey march down Oxford St., and into the city whilst a same sex couple embrace above in a window on Nov. 15, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo: James Alcock/Getty Images)

Australians celebrate same-sex marriage vote

Crowds supporting the Same Sex Marriage Survey party down Oxford St., in the heart of Sydney’s gay precinct on Nov. 15, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo: James Alcock/Getty Images)

Australians celebrate same-sex marriage vote

Supporters of the ‘Yes’ vote for marriage equality celebrate at Melbourne’s Result Street Party on Nov. 15, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Australians celebrate same-sex marriage vote

People celebrate after it was announced the majority of Australians support same-sex marriage in a national survey, paving the way for legislation to make the country the 26th nation to formalize the unions by the end of the year, at a rally in central Sydney, Australia, Nov. 15, 2017. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters)

Australians celebrate same-sex marriage vote

Yael Brender, left, and Emma Sahlstom celebrate the result of a postal survey calling for gay marriage right in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. (Photo: Rick Rycroft/AP)

Australians celebrate same-sex marriage vote

A woman wears sparkle and green hair as members of the gay community and their supporters celebrate the result of a postal survey calling for gay marriage right in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. (Photo: Rick Rycroft/AP)

Australians celebrate same-sex marriage vote

Crowds supporting the Same Sex Marriage Survey listen to politicians and advocates at Taylor Square in the heart of Sydney’s gay precinct on Nov. 15, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo: James Alcock/Getty Images)

Australians celebrate same-sex marriage vote

A drag performer dances down the street as members of the gay community and their supporters celebrate the result of a postal survey calling for gay marriage right in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. (Photo: Rick Rycroft/AP)

Australians celebrate same-sex marriage vote

Crowds supporting the Same Sex Marriage Survey listen to politicians and advocates at Taylor Square in the heart of Sydney’s gay precinct on Nov. 15, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo: James Alcock/Getty Images)

Australians celebrate same-sex marriage vote

Supporters of the same-sex marriage ‘Yes’ vote gather to celebrate the announcement in a Sydney park on Nov. 15, 2017. (Photo: William West/AFP/Getty Images)

Australians celebrate same-sex marriage vote

A supporter of the ‘Yes’ vote holds a colorful flag as he celebrates after it was announced the majority of Australians support same-sex marriage in a national survey, paving the way for legislation to make the country the 26th nation to formalize the unions by the end of the year, at a rally in central Sydney, Australia, Nov. 15, 2017. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters)

Australians celebrate same-sex marriage vote

Supporters of the ‘Yes’ vote for marriage equality celebrate after it was announced the majority of Australians support same-sex marriage in a national survey, paving the way for legislation to make the country the 26th nation to formalise the unions by the end of the year, at a rally in central Sydney, Australia, Nov. 15, 2017. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters)

Australians celebrate same-sex marriage vote

Members of Sydney’s gay community react as they celebrate after it was announced the majority of Australians support same-sex marriage in a national survey, paving the way for legislation to make the country the 26th nation to formalize the unions by the end of the year, at a pub located on Sydney’s Oxford Street, Australia, Nov. 15, 2017. (Photo: Steven Saphore/Reuters)

Australians celebrate same-sex marriage vote

Crowds supporting the Same Sex Marriage Survey party down Oxford St., in the heart of Sydney’s gay precinct on Nov. 15, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo: James Alcock/Getty Images)

Australians celebrate same-sex marriage vote

A woman twirls lights as members of the gay community and their supporters celebrate the result of a postal survey calling for gay marriage right in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. (Photo: Rick Rycroft/AP)

Australians celebrate same-sex marriage vote

Crowds supporting the Same Sex Marriage Survey party down Oxford St., in the heart of Sydney’s gay precinct on Nov. 15, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo: James Alcock/Getty Images)

Australians celebrate same-sex marriage vote

Town Hall is lit up with pink lights as the gay community and their supporters celebrate the result of a postal survey calling for gay marriage right in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. (Photo: Rick Rycroft/AP)