One year ago today, we heard the official result: Australians from every state and territory overwhelmingly voted YES for marriage equality. All up, 12.7 million votes were cast and 61.6% voted YES.
The joy, laughter, hugs and tears that followed were the sound of a nation recognising and celebrating its true self: people who overwhelmingly believe in fairness and equality over exclusion and division.
In the last year, an estimated 5,000 LGBTIQ couples have wed across Australia – many of whom had been together for decades. Thousands more had their marriages recognised for the first time here at home.
Nelson Mandela said, 'It always seems impossible until it's done.' For many, this victory is bittersweet; a product of failed political leadership and reminder of all there still is to be done and won in the name of equality for all.
So let us take heart and remember that above all, this victory was led and won by the people. It was won by all of us, for all of us – young and old, in big cities and small towns, parents and grandparents; people who'd been campaigning for decades and people who enrolled for the first time ever to cast their vote for equality.
Let this victory a be powerful proof of who we really are, and of what we can achieve when we come together.
Throughout the high fives, dancing, singing and marriage proposals that followed the official announcement, we saw what can come from standing together for a more equal Australia. The right to love and be loved; to see and be seen, to honour and value each other for who we really are. This declaration for equality uplifts us all, so we'll continue to campaign with our LGBTI friends still fighting to achieve it, wherever they live.
Here's to all love, here's to equality and here's to you,
From All of Us,