An aboriginal Australian tells Kawekōrero Reporters of his joy to see more than seven million people vote 'yes' to legalise same sex marriage in his country.
The Australian Government announced today that 61.6 per cent voted 'yes' in a postal survey.
Aboriginal man, Robert Stewart, spoke to Kawekōrero with his partner Richard Haeata in Sydney.
“It just goes to show that for a long time the Government had it wrong but the people have spoken,” said Stewart.
“On the news they’ve been talking a lot today about it all being passed by the seventh of December.”
But Stewart said, it should have never been up to the whole country to determine his right to marry his partner.
“The Government should’ve just approved it without having to ask the people,” said Stewart.
“It shouldn’t have to be the decision of a country. But it should be my decision as an aboriginal man, as an aboriginal gay man to decide who I marry and when I marry.”
Labour MP Louisa Wall submitted the bill which legalised same sex marriage in New Zealand in 2012. She told Kawekōrero it is a wonderful day for LGBTQI Australians.
“Like the rest of Australia, I’m incredibly proud and supportive of the outcome for the ‘yes’ vote,” says Wall.
“I think what it means is that in spite of having to go to the population to know whether or not LGBTQI citizens have equal rights as everyone else. The high turn-out actually gives an incredibly powerful pathway forward.”
Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, aims to pass legislation in parliament by Christmas.