Almost two-thirds of Australians voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage, according to results of a nationwide voluntary survey released Wednesday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The results of the postal survey are non-binding, however, and Australians now must wait for their lawmakers to bring the popular vote into law.
Shortly after the results were announced, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull renewed his commitment to legalizing marriage equality before Christmas, now with "unequivocal" and "overwhelming" support among Australian people.
David Kalisch, the chief statistician for the Australian Bureau of Statistics, said 61.6 percent of the votes were cast in support of same-sex marriage, with 38.4 percent against.
Almost 80 percent of the Australian population participated in the voluntary postal survey, which asked, "Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?"
Turnbull, who has been vocal in his support for same-sex marriage, said the voters are "our masters." "They voted yes for fairness, yes for commitment, yes for love. And now it is up to us here in the parliament of Australia to get on with it."
Opposition leader Bill Shorten addressed an excited crowd of "yes" supporters in the Victorian capital of Melbourne, describing the announcement as a "fabulous day to be an Australian."
"Today we celebrate, tomorrow we legislate!" he said.