LGBTQ Australians could be able to get married by Christmas!

After a lengthy postal vote survey, 61.6% of the Australians who took part have voted in favour of legalising same-sex marriage in the country.

The No vote held 38.4% of the share.

The results of the non-binding vote were announced earlier today (15 November) and marks an historic moment for LGBTQ people down under.

About 79.5% of eligible voters took part in the plebiscite, resulting in more than 12.7 million votes cast during the eight-week poll.

Of that final number, 7.8 million people voted in favour of legalising same-sex marriage.

A bill to change the law around marriage in Australia was introduced into the Senate on Wednesday, and will now be debated for any further amendments.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed plans for his government to try and pass the amended Marriage Act by Christmas.

Nick Karvounis via Unsplash

Related: If Australia says Yes to Marriage Equality, Sydney will cover the wedding venue

“[Australians] have spoken in their millions and they have voted overwhelmingly yes for marriage equality,” Turnbull said after the result was revealed.

“They voted yes for fairness, yes for commitment, yes for love.”

Talking about the massive turn out for the vote, Australia’s chief statistician David Kalisch said: “This is outstanding for a voluntary survey and well above other voluntary surveys conducted around the world.

“It shows how important this issue is to many Australians.”

Turnball will now face a debate as to what the final legislation should include.

Some conservative MPs have called for exemptions that effectively allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT+ people by refusing to serve them goods and services for weddings if it’s at odds with their religious beliefs.

However, the bill proposal has failed to gain widespread support from fellow MPs.

Meanwhile, former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott – who was a vocal marriage equality opponent – said that parliament should respect the public vote.

He added, however, that the bill should provide “freedom of conscience for all, not just the churches”.