A decisive majority of Australians have voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage, paving way for the country to become the world’s 26th nation to recognize gay and lesbian unions.

More than three quarters of Australia’s eligible voters took part in a survey administered by the country’s Bureau of Statistics Wednesday morning local time. The survey is non-binding but the Australian government pledged before the vote to put a proposal to parliament should voters decide in favor of legalization.

Out of 12.7 million voters, 61.6% voted yes and 38.4% voted no, according to officials.

During a post-vote press conference, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull lauded his fellow citizens for voting in favor of “equality.”

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“They voted overwhelmingly for fairness, for commitment, for love and now it’s our job, as the Australian parliament, all of us here to get on with it and get this done before Christmas,” Turnbull said.

With News Wire Services

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