Australia same sex marriage gets a nod of approval today (15/11/2017). The Australian Bureau of Statistics just released its latest poll result. It revealed that 61% of the population voted to allow same-sex marriage and 38% voted against. With more than 12.7 million people took part in the poll, that percentage translated into 7.82 million in favor and 4.87 million against.
The poll was a non-binding postal survey that reads:
“Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”
Cheers, laughter and rainbow confetti fill the air as LGBTIQ communities celebrated the result all over the country. Sydney and Melbourne are reportedly hosting the country’s biggest street parties to celebrate Australia’s vote to legalize same sex marriage.
In response to the result, the Prime Minister was quick to announce that he intended to make people’s aspiration into law by Christmas.
The people of Australia have spoken and I intend to make their wish the law of the land by Christmas. This is an overwhelming call for marriage equality. pic.twitter.com/PWZbH5H71r
— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) November 14, 2017
Why Does This Same Sex Marriage Poll Matters
The numbers of same-sex couples are increasing these past 20 years as the graphic shows. In the grand scheme of things, even if they look insignificant, those numbers represent an important portion of population whose aspiration needs to be taken into account by the nation. The poll signifies the shift toward equal rights in the society. If the law passed, Australia will be the 26th country that grants same sex marriage to its citizens. That is a strong if, given that many No proponents in the Parliament are less likely to change their mind.
What does it mean for migration
Should the poll leads to the marriage law being amended in the Parliament, Australia will be the new travel or even migration destination for LGBTIQ communities all over the world. In the first year after the law passed, many, if not all, Australia migration agents will be busy lodging visa applications for these communities.
What does it mean for the economy
ANZ is among the top brands that predicts the positive outcome, economic-wise, of the same sex marriage in Australia.
In 2015, they make a positive statement as follows:
“If half the population of same-sex couples chose to marry within one year, the benefits to the economy in the first year of the legislation would be over $1 billion,”
Cherelle Murphy & Mandeep Kaura, co-head of Australian Economics & Economic statistician, ANZ.
One of the interesting notes that they make is that same sex couples have higher incomes than their heterosexual counterparts. As such, their wedding spend will be higher than average couples, giving a compounding factor to the economic boost predicted below.
After the poll, they seem to stand by their 2015 prediction, if only with more conservative numbers.
“Marriage equality in Australia would bring economic benefits to the tune of at least $A650 million.” – Cherelle Murphy
The five immediate economic benefits of marriage equality according to this source:
- Expenditure on weddings. This could benefit a range of industries including retail trade, hospitality, arts and recreation, professional services (pre-nuptial agreements and divorce).
- Increased service exports due to offshore visitors marrying and honeymooning in Australia.
- The diversion of Australian same sex couples back home that would otherwise have married overseas. This may further boost the industries listed above.
- Increased state government revenue from same-sex marriage license fees and from conducting on-site ceremonies in state run registries of births, deaths and marriages.
- There may also be a small boost to consumer confidence, given the change to marriage equality is a policy supported by the majority of Australians.
CNN reported that Australia’s LGBT community was strongly against the idea of a national vote on same-sex marriage, fearing a bitter, divisive campaign. It is also worth to note that those who said Yes are mostly Caucasians. Another concern is that this poll could be just another “Trump moment” with a rather anticlimactic end awaits, which of course referring to moments leading to 2016 US Presidential Election, especially with the numbers of conservative politicians in the Parliament.
Nevertheless, wherever it leads to, the people have spoken, and it said Yes to Love.