The nervous energy in the air was palpable. All across the country people were on tenterhooks waiting for the results of the marriage equality survey. But just after 10am, the LGBTQ community had reason to celebrate. The Australian population had given a resounding YES to marriage equality.
It was now the LGBTQ communities' time to shine. And shine they did. Outside the State Library of Victoria, a sea of smiles glistened in the shining Spring sun. The kind of smiles that would take weeks to wipe off.
Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten embraced members of the crowd, his hugs filled with warmth and emotion. Shorten has been instrumental in the YES campaign. He has proudly spoken about his blended family and argued families do not need to adhere to 'traditional' structures to be successful and full of love -- a welcome sentiment among the LGBTQ community.
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Comedian and TV icon Magda Szubanski was overwhelmed with the news. She clutched onto Qantas CEO Alan Joyce as tears streamed down her face, an undoubtedly cathartic moment. A fierce advocate for LGBTQ rights, Szubanski has given impassioned speeches on 'Q&A', the 'Today Show' and 'The Project'. Her gallant effort has finally been rewarded.
Even The Golden Princess docked at Sydney Harbour was rocking a rainbow flag, repping the ships in same-sex relationships. Also, we shall now refer to it as 'The Love Boat'. Honk, honk!
Gorman's 'Love Is Love' t-shirts were popular among the crowd. Gorman was one of several Australian brands to put their weight behind the marriage equality cause. The brand initially offered 5,000 shirts designed by Monika Forsberg, these were snapped up rapidly and with such enthusiasm the site almost crashed. Subsequently, the brand offered 10,000 additional shirts. Apparently, Australians love t-shirts as much as they love marriage equality.
Olympian and marriage equality advocate Ian Thorpe was emotional as he thanked all of Australia at Prince Alfred Park, Sydney. The issue is very close to home for Thorpe who first opened up about his sexuality in 2014. Thorpe put in an Olympic effort to get YES votes and that hard work has definitely paid off.
Rainbow Pride Flags are being proudly waved across the country in celebration. Each colour represents the following: life (red), healing (orange), sunlight (yellow), nature (green), harmony/peace (blue), and spirit (purple/violet). The flag is synonymous with love and acceptance, and will now symbolise Australia's commitment to marriage equality.
John Paul Young's '92 hit 'Love Is In The Air' has become the marriage equality anthem. The musician previously played at a YES street party in Taylor Square, Sydney. Today, the crowd sang along emotionally and the love was most definitely in the air.
After months of hard work it's time for marriage equality campaigners to take a well-deserved bow, and bask in the glory.
Let the good times roll.
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