Australians react following historic marriage equality referendum in Ireland

Photo: Charles McQuillan/ Getty Images.

From Qantas CEO Alan Joyce to Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, the landmark referendum recognising marriage equality in Ireland has drawn a huge response in Australia.

Joyce, who is openly gay, showed support on his LinkedIn saying that he was “incredibly proud that Ireland has become the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage by popular vote”.

“As Taoiseach Enda Kenny said, the vote sends a ‘big message’ to the world – that diversity and equality matter to everyone in a society, from individuals and families to governments and businesses,” wrote Joyce.

Bill Shorten and Former Greens leader Christine Milne were also among many who took to Twitter to express their support.

The passing of the referendum has put pressure on the Australian government to follow suit with Liberal MP Zed Seselja also calling for a referendum to settle the marriage equality debate in Australia.

“If there was ever any doubt that marriage equality was inevitable in Australia, the Irish vote has removed it,” said National convener of Australian Marriage Equality Rodney Croome.

While Prime Minister Tony Abbott has acknowledged that the issue of marriage equality is “a very serious issue”, he has ruled out the possibility of a referendum in Australia maintaining the matter should be deal with through the federal Parliament.

“I take it seriously, I know there are millions of Australians who take it seriously,” Abbott told the ABC.

“There are a range of views inside the Parliament; there are a range of views inside my party room; frankly there’s a range of views inside my family.

“Inside the Abbott family I’m probably the last holdout for the traditional position,” Abbott added.

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