This is the poignant reaction of the first openly gay woman in Australia’s Parliament when she heard that the country had voted in favour of same-sex marriage.
South Australian Labour senator Penny Wong was captured on camera watching the live announcement of the Marriage Law Postal Survey results, following an intense three-month campaign.
After weeks of campaigning, months of planning and years debate, the results of the controversial three-month-long postal survey revealed 61.6% of people voted ‘yes’ and 38.4% ‘no’.
Wong later tweeted her thanks to all those who supported the cause:
To all Australians thank you for standing up for fairness and equality. To my colleagues and all those who fought for this great outcome, thank you. pic.twitter.com/g8gaQJtzyC
— Senator Penny Wong (@SenatorWong) November 15, 2017
In a press conference following the result, Wong said: “Thank you Australia. Thank you for standing up for fairness, thank you for standing up for equality. Thank you for gay and lesbian Australians, the LGBTIQ community everywhere. Thank you for standing up for our families.
“Thank you for standing up for the sort of Australia we believe in: an Australia that is decent, an Australia that is fair, an Australia that is accepting, an Australia which turns its back on exclusion and division.”
She went on to promise that the country’s Parliament would do its part to achieve equality.
The vote asked simply: “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”
However, the poll, carried out by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, is not legally binding and voluntary, which is not typical in the country.
While it is purely a guide for politicians on how to treat the issue in Parliament, the huge 80% turn-out and the clear majority will put pressure on the Government to act.
The campaign has been marked by negative campaigning by the ‘No’ campaign that critics have condemned as bordering on hysterical, with conservative politicians lining up with churches fearing religion is under attack.
One advert attacking gay marriage depicted a woman claiming it could lead to her son wearing a dress to school, which was dismissed as “patently ridiculous”.
Addressing the negativity, Wong said: “You didn’t want this process and it has been really hard for many of you.
“I know that because I moved around the country and have spoken to many of you.
“I hope from this you can take a message of solidarity, of support, of decency from your fellow Australians.”