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SSM: 'Australians have voted Yes for love and fairness,' says PM Malcolm Turnbull

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Malcolm Turnbull says it is time for MPs to "get on with it" and make same-sex marriage legal, after the Yes vote "overwhelmingly" won the national postal survey.

Almost 80 cent of Australians voted, and 61.6 per cent of respondents said gay and lesbian people should be able to marry

The strongest vote was in the ACT, where 74 per cent of responses were for yes, followed by Victoria with 65 per cent, then Tasmania and WA with 64 per cent.

New South Wales had the lowest Yes vote with 58 per cent of people backing change and 42 per cent opposing it.

The Prime Minister declared that Australians had "voted Yes for love" and said it was now up to Parliament to "get on with it".

"It is up to us here in the Parliament of Australia to get on with it, get on with the job the Australian people have tasked us to do and get this done. This year, before Christmas — that must be our commitment," he said soon after the result was announced.

© Australian Bureau of Statistics Mr Turnbull called it an overwhelming result, both in terms of surveys returned and the Yes vote.

There were scenes of jubilation at Yes campaign parties across the country, including inside Parliament House.

Labor's Penny Wong was moved to tears when the result was announced. © ABC News/Jed Cooper Labor's Penny Wong was moved to tears when the result was announced. Labor's leader in the Senate Penny Wong was moved to tears.

Greens leader Richard di Natale was at a gathering of Yes supporters in Parliament House, and thanked the Yes campaign for "hard work, campaigning, support and your Yes votes".

The Prime Minister acknowledged that some opposed the change, saying "a minority obviously voted No" but Mr Turnbull made it plain he wanted the law changed soon.

"There is nothing more Australian than a fair go, there is nothing more Australian than equality and mutual respect and everyone has had their say — that is what we pledged," he said.

But the political debate remains intense despite the strong vote in favour of change

© Australian Bureau of Statistics The focus has now turned to the form of the bill that will be debated in Parliament.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has signalled he will play a major role in the discussion about how far the religious exemptions go.

The bill prepared by Liberal Dean Smith, which has cross-party support, will be introduced this afternoon.

It contains provisions so that ministers of religion could not be forced to conduct same-sex marriages.

People celebrate after the announcement of the same-sex marriage postal survey result in front of the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne. © AAP Image/David Crosling People celebrate after the announcement of the same-sex marriage postal survey result in front of the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne. Senator Cormann, who is a leader from the conservative side of the Liberal Party, said the Smith bill was a good starting point but needed "additional religious protections".

Former prime minister Tony Abbott, whose electorate of Warringah returned a 75 per cent Yes vote, has also said he wants changes to the Smith bill to have "freedom of conscience for all, not just the churches".

Conservative Tasmanian senator Eric Abetz has strongly backed another bill being put forward by Victorian Liberal James Paterson, which includes much wider exemptions from discrimination laws, including for service providers like bakers and florists.

© Australian Bureau of Statistics The cross-party same-sex marriage supporters who are backing the Smith bill have tried to put parliamentary procedures in place to ensure the debate does not drag on.

No campaigner Lyle Shelton, from the Coalition for Marriage, called it a disappointing result but said his group accepted and respected the decision of the Australian people.

Mr Shelton said the focus would now be on fighting for parents' rights and fighting for freedom of speech and belief.

There were scenes of jubilation at Yes campaign parties across the country. © ABC News/Pat Williams There were scenes of jubilation at Yes campaign parties across the country. He will be working with the politicians who are supporting Senator Paterson's push to put in more exemptions.

Labor leader Bill Shorten said Australians had voted for a "generous view of themselves, for a modern Australia, where diversity is accepted, supported and respected".

Labor leader Bill Shorten reacts to the same-sex marriage survey Yes result in front of the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne. © AAP Image Labor leader Bill Shorten reacts to the same-sex marriage survey Yes result in front of the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne. "Today we celebrate, tomorrow we legislate," Mr Shorten said. But the survey result has a strong note of warning for the Labor Party.

In the western suburbs of Sydney, many Labor-held seats voted heavily against allowing same-sex marriage.

In the seat of Blaxland, which includes Bankstown and Auburn, 74 per cent of those who responded voted No.

Blaxland is held by Labor frontbencher Jason Clare, who supports same-sex marriage.

The seats of Watson and McMahon held by Labor frontbenchers Tony Burke and Chris Bowen also strongly opposed same-sex marriage, with 70 and 65 per cent respectively.

PicturesCountries that have legalised same-sex marriage

With Australians getting their say on whether same-sex marriage should be legal via a postal survey, we take a look at the countries around the world where it is legal for all couples to get married. Countries that have legalised same-sex marriage

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