LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Australians voted overwhelmingly for same-sex marriage, paving the way for legislation by the end of 2017 and sending jubilant supporters celebrating in public spaces on Wednesday.
More than three-quarters of the country’s eligible voters took part in a voluntary poll, with 61.6 percent voting in favor of marriage equality and 38.4 percent against.
The vote is non-binding but Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he would fulfill a pledge to raise a bill in parliament with the aim of passing laws by Christmas that could see Australia become the 26th nation to formalize the unions.
Here are the facts about same-sex marriage around the world:
* Same-sex marriage is legal in 25 countries: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Uruguay, United States.
* In some of these countries, such as Mexico and Britain, marriage is only open to same-sex couples in some regions. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom where same-sex marriage is not allowed.
* The first country to legalize same-sex marriage was the Netherlands in 2001.
* In Africa, where homosexuality is a crime in many countries and can lead to imprisonment or the death penalty, South Africa alone has granted the same access to gay couples. Same-sex marriage legislation came into force there in 2006.
* No countries in Asia allow same-sex couples to marry or enter civil unions of any kind. In May, Taiwan’s constitutional court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to legally marry, the first such ruling in Asia.
* Almost one in three adults globally believe people of the same sex should be allowed to marry, a survey of almost 100,000 people in 65 countries showed in 2016.
SOURCES: International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), Pew Research Center, Reuters.
Reporting by Umberto Bacchi @UmbertoBacchi, Editing by Katy Migiro. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit news.trust.org