Australian voters have spoken, and they’ve done so overwhelmingly: Same-sex marriage should be the law of the land.
That’s what an impressive 61.6% of the voters said in a comprehensive referendum campaign over the course of about six weeks that saw almost 80% of eligible voters cast a ballot.
The effort to support marriage equality had the backing of many people and entities across sports, including sports stars like Ian Thorpe and David Pocock, as well as leagues like the National Rugby League and the AFL.
People across sports are celebrating the news:
YES ️ Australia I've never been so proud of you. This is a massive leap forward for equality ❤️— Simon Dunn (@TheSimonDunn) November 14, 2017
While there is lots of conversation today about mixing “politics” with sports, Australian sports fans seem to support their favorite leagues getting involved in the conversation about same-sex marriage, particularly their support for equality.
“We were initially quite surprised to see so much support from sport fans for the actions taken by the sports,” said Erik Denison, lead researcher, Sport Inclusion Project at Monash Univ. “If you looked only at the social media accounts of the major sports, such as the AFL or ARU, it seemed like there was a very strong backlash from fans. It appears, from this research, that the many negative social media comments are not reflective of the views of the majority of sport fans.”
That certainly played out in the vote tally nationwide.
Australian legislators will now put forward a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Australia, which should be forthcoming.