G-Day
November 14, 2017 7:23 AM   Subscribe

The ABS will be announcing the results of Australia's same-sex marriage plebiscite in just under eight hours. After a long fought campaign which has seen some of the worst of Australia's homophobia given license to speak up, the same-sex marriage plebiscite is coming to a head. If polling is any indication, with 89 percent turnout, the yes vote looks to be romping home with 63% polling yes.
posted by Talez (142 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
 
Well thank fuck for that.
posted by Artw at 7:27 AM on November 14 [6 favorites]


Yeah look I’m Australian by association (Aussie husband, half Aussie children) but I am also American and after the election events of one year ago I’ll celebrate when the official results are out, not based on polling. This affects too many friends and family for me to get excited before it’s real.
posted by olinerd at 7:44 AM on November 14 [13 favorites]


My love for all my fellow Australian queers for having to go through this hateful charade. Let's say 63% said yes. That means 37% of Australians think the LGBT people living in their midst are subhuman, not deserving of the right to marry the one they love. One in three people around you loathe you. Or at least that's how it felt to me in 2008 in California when 52% voted against gay marriage. It's a horrible feeling.

Civil rights should not be put to popular votes. Much less non-binding surveys.
posted by Nelson at 8:20 AM on November 14 [36 favorites]


This American will be wearing an Australian Equality shirt in solidarity. 99% of poll respondents say the shirt is "super cute."
posted by roger ackroyd at 8:21 AM on November 14 [5 favorites]


[Couple comments deleted; even though the intended ironic spirit is clear, better not to use the gross language of the other side.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:44 AM on November 14 [6 favorites]




> Civil rights should not be put to popular votes. Much less non-binding surveys.

How do you want rights to be codified into law.
posted by nangar at 10:46 AM on November 14


How do you want rights to be codified into law.

By acknowledging in law the principle that we are all equal before it, regardless of race, gender, orientation, creed, etc.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:58 AM on November 14 [26 favorites]


It’s going to be incredible to watch the ‘silent majority’ (Lyle, Cory, Tony, Bob, Eric, looking at you) discover they are actually an obnoxious minority on the wrong side of history.
posted by Jimbob at 11:21 AM on November 14 [14 favorites]


I'm terrified. I think the 'No' vote could win. Polling seems to always favour the more progressive side, and then it seems we're all bitterly disappointed later.
posted by daybeforetheday at 11:28 AM on November 14


> By acknowledging in law the principle that we are all equal before it, regardless of race, gender, orientation, creed, etc.

Like a constitution? Would there be a referendum on that? I think your just bumping the 'no one should be able to vote these things' back a step.

Societies are made up of human beings. Any law, principle or right recognized by a human society is going to have to recognized by human beings by some process or another, and enforced somehow by human beings who are part of that society. I understand where the anger comes from, but I don't think there's any way around this. Voting is fairer most other methods and, I think, preferable to having some sort of authority that claims to represent pure justice, truth and rightness.
posted by nangar at 11:35 AM on November 14


Polling seems to always favour the more progressive side

The fact polling seems to favour the progressive side even though the polling also shows those who have voted skew older gives me confidence. As does the fact the ‘no’ campaign has descended into absolute desperation and delusion.
posted by Jimbob at 11:42 AM on November 14


> Polling seems to always favour the more progressive side

I certainly didn't France earlier this year, or Virginia last week.
posted by nangar at 11:47 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]


Voting is fairer most other methods and, I think, preferable to having some sort of authority that claims to represent pure justice, truth and rightness.

We already voted. We selected representatives to do this. That’s their job.
posted by Jimbob at 11:58 AM on November 14 [9 favorites]


> Voting is fairer most other methods

Fairer to whom? I've lived in places where my rights have been subject to the (ignorant, discriminatory) vote of the public, and it didn't seem all that fair to me.
posted by rtha at 12:11 PM on November 14 [15 favorites]


Far too many of America's Civil Rights have been codified by judicial decisions, not popular votes, and are in danger of being cancelled by the same method. Roe V Wade. 'Nuff said.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:49 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


How often does the US have popular votes, eg. referendums at a national level on basic rights, oneswellfoop?
posted by Jimbob at 12:52 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


Should have said "votes by our elected representatives", Jimbob...
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:00 PM on November 14


I hope Australia voters do the right thing, even though a lot of you are opposed to whole idea of voting.

We might have issues with this expensive non binding poll (our elected representatives should've got this done) but Australians have no problem with voting! We are exceptional voters. Do 80% of Americans turnout for anything?

We even had to find a letter box to mail it back, always a pain for me. Bloody Australia Post, I think there is only letter box in my entire suburb and certainly not anywhere sensible I pass regularly ( no mail collections from one's home here).
posted by kitten magic at 1:01 PM on November 14 [16 favorites]


Penny Wong is on radio national in half an hour. 7:30am aedt. Can the doomsayers just step back? I've already taken the day off and I have so much cake.
posted by adept256 at 1:03 PM on November 14


Like a constitution? Would there be a referendum on that?

Naturally, all the most democratic places decide their constitution by referendum, as in Turkey, Mali, Venezuela, and of course Australia.
posted by sfenders at 1:35 PM on November 14


Civil rights should not be put to popular votes. Much less non-binding surveys.

Yes, this has been an awful garbage tire fire since day 1. Turnbull is the most spineless worm imaginable, and pretty much 80% of our parliamentarians and peripherarians are horrid, evil, greedy, greasy shitbags. The PM is talking big today because he knows how much the wind has shifted, but he will buckle in seconds in his desperate, grubby, sweaty grasp at power - a power he has utterly squandered in ever conceivable way, from this debacle, to the Adani debacle, to the NBN debacle. Easily the most useless PM Australia has ever had. Abbott was the worst, but this guy is the most pointless.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:25 PM on November 14 [11 favorites]


Cory was on Today where Karl gave him a bit of a sledging.
posted by Talez at 2:44 PM on November 14


ABC link for the live news.
posted by Talez at 2:53 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Here we go!
posted by Talez at 3:00 PM on November 14


That'll do, Australia. That'll do.
posted by Pinback at 3:04 PM on November 14 [7 favorites]


12 million people took part. 79.5%.

YES - 7.8 MILLION 61.7%
posted by Talez at 3:05 PM on November 14 [17 favorites]


YESSS
posted by alona at 3:05 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Every state and territory voted majority yes.
posted by Talez at 3:06 PM on November 14 [7 favorites]


133 electorates out of 150 were majority yes.
posted by Talez at 3:06 PM on November 14 [3 favorites]


That turnout number is a beautiful thing.
posted by zachlipton at 3:06 PM on November 14 [4 favorites]


That's 70% of eligible voters who either approve, or don't object strongly enough to cast a vote against. [ uh, sorry, edited for math ]
posted by sfenders at 3:08 PM on November 14 [3 favorites]


I have hated every aspect of this absurd and painful survey, and honestly the outcome doesn't make up for the viciousness that got us here. I will bear a grudge against Turnbull and Abbott until my dying days. But even so I'm crying with relief and joy
posted by saltbush and olive at 3:12 PM on November 14 [18 favorites]


Incidentally, human waste of flesh Tony Abbott had apparently arbitrarily declared that a 40% "No" vote would still for some reason be a "moral victory" for anti-gay forces.

Total "No" vote: 38.4%.

It did not even clear his idiotic "we really secretly win even if we lose" bar.
posted by kyrademon at 3:14 PM on November 14 [21 favorites]


YOU MISSED YOUR SHOT AUSTRALIA IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN 69%
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:15 PM on November 14 [14 favorites]


My old seat of Moore was 68% yes.
posted by Talez at 3:15 PM on November 14


"Love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love, cannot be killed or swept aside."
posted by Marticus at 3:16 PM on November 14 [3 favorites]


Malcolm Turnbull being a giant fucking cock in front of the country.

"LABOR DIDN'T WANT YOU TO HAVE A SAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY"
posted by Talez at 3:21 PM on November 14 [7 favorites]


I worry that Turnbull is going to have a second plebiscite to make sure gay people can buy a wedding cake.
posted by Talez at 3:25 PM on November 14 [9 favorites]


YES!
posted by adept256 at 3:31 PM on November 14


And we're fucking ON. Faith in Australia's humanity a little bit restored. According to the Graun liveblog, Onionmuncher's electorate voted 75% yes. So the lizard-eyed gurning arsehole doesn't even reflect the views of people who actually voted for him.

I'm not even a little bit in favour of marriage, so I'm personally conflicted about entrenching it as a form of relationship that is special or more real than others, but you know what? Charge up the champers and let's get into our nice frocks, because it's wedding season.
posted by prismatic7 at 3:31 PM on November 14 [5 favorites]


Is there some immediate effort to follow up this non-binding referendum on basic civil rights with actual useful political action? Like is a law about to be passed or changed?
posted by Nelson at 3:33 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


I'm not surprised but am embarrassed to see it was 61.6% NO in my electorate.
posted by unliteral at 3:34 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


YES! I would have liked to have seen a greater majority, and the government's going to fuck up the bill, but there are no more excuses for denying human rights to our LGBTQI brothers and sisters.
posted by b33j at 3:42 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Oh man, congrats Aussies. I miss feeling like my country is going in the right direction.
posted by lumpenprole at 3:46 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Good work, Australia!
posted by Chrysostom at 3:47 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


3 electorates, all rural, in Qld < 50% "Yes".

2 outer metro electorates in Vic < 50% "Yes".

6 inner metro & 6 outer metro electorates in NSW < 50% "Yes".

7 of the 12 in NSW - mostly inner-metro seats - are ones with the highest "No" vote in the country.

The 2 seats with the highest "No" vote are both inner-metro Sydney seats.

Don't try to convince me that Queensland is the socially ultra-conservative "backwards" state ever again…
posted by Pinback at 3:49 PM on November 14 [17 favorites]


May I relate something that just happened? Since I'm taking the day off, I thought I'd go to the bottle shop for a drop. Something to celebrate with. I said to the cashier, 'look out for the rush, this may be the best wednesday morning to be selling champagne'. 'Why's that?' she asked, and I told her. There are going to a lot of parties today.

This is just over the counter banter, having a laugh with the staff, just being friendly over business when she said she has goosebumps, because she got married to her wife in Canada. So in my pursuit of some grog, I got to tell someone the good news. She was smiling! A big beautiful smile! SHE WAS SO FUCKING HAPPY!

I have people to call.

YES!
posted by adept256 at 3:50 PM on November 14 [38 favorites]


I was hoping for a bigger majority, but at least it's a very firm Yes result. Let's hope Turnbull's declaration that they'll make it law by Christmas actually happens.
posted by fever-trees at 3:52 PM on November 14


Parramatta 38% Yes - WTF you idiots. I'm ashamed my own Benelong was only 49.8% Yes.
posted by smoke at 4:00 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Thank goodness for that. I'd LOVE to see a quick resolution to the legislation issue, but I'm not holding my breath.

Embarrassingly my electorate was only 49.8% yes. Probably the closest to Sydney CBD to not go yes. We got heaps of the most misleading religious based pamphlets in the mail during the survey, but I still thought it'd be a more progressive area.
posted by trialex at 4:01 PM on November 14


This is my first experience with the word "plebiscite", and I can't help feeling like it's a word you use in place of "referendum" in special circumstances, like when you'd have to be a complete ass to choose one of the choices.

In related news, chalk me up as one of the people who thinks civil rights shouldn't be something chosen by the masses. If you have a representative system of government, those representatives should do their jobs and represent all the people they, uh, represent. As best they can. Though I guess a distinct problem there is who they consider to be people.
posted by cardioid at 4:04 PM on November 14 [4 favorites]


For anyone interested in the seat-by-seat breakdown, the ABC has a nice version

CW: Your electorate may have a distressing turnout of 'No' votes. Please take care.
posted by prismatic7 at 4:05 PM on November 14 [3 favorites]


This is my first experience with the word "plebiscite", and I can't help feeling like it's a word you use in place of "referendum" in special circumstances, like when you'd have to be a complete ass to choose one of the choices.

A referendum is compulsory, binding, and relates to the constitution

A plebiscite is voluntary, non-binding, and can be about anything.
posted by trialex at 4:09 PM on November 14 [4 favorites]


I was glued to the live coverage, and love the big grin the chief statistician had on his face as he (finally) announced. I was useless at work before we knew and I'm still a bit useless, just can't concentrate on anything else. One co-worker brought in a cake and decorated it with M&Ms in the shape of a heart, with a sign on it saying "Suck an onion, Tony", which was lovely, but most of the conversation around morning tea was the outrageous prices of Tiffany homewares. Um, hi, my civil rights have been validated? Eventually I just lost it a little and had to go back into my office and have a sook.

The ABS has done some really nice infographics, including a response map. I do find it interesting that the majority of the No vote was in NSW, and not necessarily rural. But so, so relieved that the areas of VIC where I live and work are both definite Yes majorities.
posted by Athanassiel at 4:11 PM on November 14 [8 favorites]


Antony Green's feelings are hurt. It's okay Antony we have enough love in our hearts for two stats nerds
posted by saltbush and olive at 4:17 PM on November 14 [5 favorites]


Ugh, Parramatta, you are the worst. It does not surprise me, though.

And I am so, so relieved and happy about the overall outcome across the country.
posted by lollusc at 4:26 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Parramatta 38% Yes - WTF you idiots. I'm ashamed my own Benelong was only 49.8% Yes.
Welcome to the Club of Shame:
Blaxland
Watson
McMahon
Fowler
Werriwa
Parramatta
Chifley
Barton
Banks
Greenway
Mitchell
Bennelong
posted by unliteral at 4:27 PM on November 14 [3 favorites]


Look, unless you are a firefighter or a surgeon, just call in a sickie. I'd be bloody useless at the office right now. It's a beautiful day in Australia, go out and enjoy it.
posted by adept256 at 4:28 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


I am happily surprised my electorate voted 66%. Everyone in my area has little kids or is 100 years old.

Disappointed in my state. Way to go NSW, we out queenslanded Queensland :-(
posted by kitten magic at 4:32 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


8 of the 10 electorates with the lowest yes vote were in NSW. Huh.
posted by nnethercote at 4:38 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


YOU MISSED YOUR SHOT AUSTRALIA IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN 69%

The electorates of Franklin, Bendigo, and Boothby all hit 69%!
posted by nnethercote at 4:41 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


As a queer yes voter from Sydney, I can't say I'm feeling happy. Just relieved. Happy for everyone who wants to be married, happy to have equal rights, happy for the symbolism writ large. Sad for the fact that my city was so divided. Angry with the politicians who put us through this and continue to insist they won't vote in accordance with their electorate or the nation. Worried that social conservatives are now better prepared for campaigns against legalising abortion, granting Aboriginal Australian people a voice in Parliament, etc.

Important point re: the high 'no' vote in Western Sydney (high language other than English speaking, religious populations—these factors correlate with the vast majority of the 'No' vote):

@oz_f
Worth acknowledging the No campaign appeared to focus a significant amount of resources targeting migrant communities, while the Yes strategy was about turning [out] existing supporters, not changing minds.
posted by Panthalassa at 4:43 PM on November 14 [11 favorites]


Okay I looked, I was afraid to in case I turn to stone. I was ready for it to be bad. But it's 79.5% in the Brisbane CBD, which is.. better? It still means one in five are assholes.

Hey kitten magic, we should play rugby once a year, just QLD and NSW.
posted by adept256 at 4:43 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


Antony Green's feelings are hurt. It's okay Antony we have enough love in our hearts for two stats nerds

For a second I thought he must have said something derogatory about Yes winning. Glad to see that wasn't the case!
posted by nnethercote at 4:43 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the Victorian club of shame is Calwell (which includes the airport) and Bruce (includes Mt Waverley, where one of my good mates lives).

I really also do hope that the ABS at some point does a breakdown of voting by age. It would be really encouraging if the majority of the No vote came from people who are likely to bump off soon.

As for chucking a sickie, it's a little hard to do once you've already come to work. And work's aircon is better than mine, a definite bonus since I am not coping well with the hot weather.
posted by Athanassiel at 4:44 PM on November 14


I haven't lived in Australia for 8 years, but I'm super proud of the turnout and yes vote in VIC. My old electorate was 74% yes with 85% participation.

Now if only they would do something about the ridiculous housing costs, I might be able to afford to move back!
posted by Shal at 4:45 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


Don't try to convince me that Queensland is the socially ultra-conservative "backwards" state ever again…

Yep - my endless butt-of-jokes rural Tasmanian seat: 59% Yes.
posted by Jimbob at 4:48 PM on November 14 [7 favorites]


\o/\o/
posted by Sophie1 at 4:49 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


I really also do hope that the ABS at some point does a breakdown of voting by age.

ABC has a breakdown of the stats, including some age data (response rates, but not yes vs. no, as far as I can see). Make sure you click on the particular region for the full stats.
posted by nnethercote at 4:50 PM on November 14


Fun stats:
  • George Christenson and Tony Abbott's electorates voted yes. Wahringah, Abbott's electorate, had the 10th highest proportion of Yes votes in the country.
  • Similarly, Cory Bernadi and Eric Abetz's stomping grounds and states voted Yes.
  • Of the 10 electorates who had the smallest Yes vote, the bottom 9 are Labor.
I guess we owe rural Queensland an apology.
posted by Merus at 4:54 PM on November 14 [4 favorites]


I notice that the No-voting electorates in Sydney seem to correlate well with the Red Rooster Line. I don't really know what that means demographically though.
posted by other barry at 4:55 PM on November 14


WOOT! Good going Australia!
posted by sotonohito at 4:55 PM on November 14


A bit disappointed with Gellibrand's 68%. I thought we were meant to be proper chardy lattes, but a win's a win, I suppose..

Now over to the LNP to fuck it all up some other way...
posted by pompomtom at 5:02 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


kitten magic: "Disappointed in my state. Way to go NSW, we out queenslanded Queensland :-("

You may be surprised how often that happens. It's probably long past time for everybody - from politicians, electoral pundits, and media, right on down to ranting gobs on the Internet - to re-evaluate their prejudices just a bit.

Note for non-Australians looking at the ABC table, ABS map, etc: the results are broken down by federal electorate. One of the things the Australian Electoral Commission tries to manage is to, as far as possible, have equal numbers of voters in each electorate.

So, to take some No-voting seats, the geographically-huge rural seats like Maranoa (~730,000 km2) & Kennedy (~570,000 km2) in Qld have about the same number of voters (~103,000 & ~100,000 respectively) as the much smaller seats of Blaxland (61 km2, ~104,500), Watson (47 km2, ~105,000), or Barton (40km2, ~107,000) in Sydney.

In other words: look at the numbers, not the geographical size…
posted by Pinback at 5:03 PM on November 14 [3 favorites]


Blaxland the worst in the land with 73.9% NO.
Looking at the 2016 census data the highest percentage of the population are:
Male, 25-29 years old in a registered marriage with children
Lebanese, born in Australia with both parents born overseas
Islamic religion and Arabic speaking
Highest level of education attained - Year 12
posted by unliteral at 5:05 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Good on ya, Aussies!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:06 PM on November 14


That pack of blue electorates in NSW is hugely disappointing. I have a few gay friends that live in that area and have spent a lot of time there myself, it does seem to have a high religious and migrant communities, similar to the two electorates that had a majority vote no in Victoria. I know some of my own family members that were sucked in by complete lies and BS spun by the churches they attend.
posted by liquorice at 5:06 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


YES!!!!!!
posted by Thella at 5:21 PM on November 14


Parramatta 38% Yes - WTF you idiots.

Labor/Greens have 53% of the vote in Parramatta. Only 6.5% identify as having 'Australian' ancestry, with around 30% of people born in India, and with Hinduism the predominant religion at 29%, followed by 'no religion' at 21.4%.

While these guys were all for it, apparently that was a "...clear deviation from the stand taken by many Hindu leaders in India on the issue of same-sex love and marriage".

Which seems to have got us the same result as Blaxland, which is sad.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:22 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


Bennelong, for eg, was also the target of a lot of gross homophobic and otherwise propaganda in Mandarin in the last federal election. It's a quite conservative seat, moreso now than before.
posted by smoke at 5:24 PM on November 14


I'm relieved that the survey resulted in a Yes. But, nothing's really happened yet. The battle in parliament is just warming up and the haters are going to do everything in their power to make any legislation as repugnant as possible. I expect this to boil along into the middle of next year and possibly until an election is called. The only good coming out of this next phase is that it will, hopefully expose more of the foul stench of the conservatives and might fracture the LNP that much more.

I wish I could be happier.
posted by michswiss at 5:59 PM on November 14 [5 favorites]


Nice one Australia!
posted by inflatablekiwi at 6:01 PM on November 14


Well I just learned that you should avoid being gay in Penrith – 74% NO vote, highest in the country.
posted by qwip at 6:16 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Love wins, equality defeats bigotry. I rejoice.
posted by valetta at 6:19 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


A referendum is compulsory, binding, and relates to the constitution

A plebiscite is voluntary, non-binding, and can be about anything.


And a voluntary-participation extended-time postal survey, which this was, is neither. It was never a promise kept to those who actually thought the Coalition had a mandate for its ridiculous plebiscite proposal (and to be completely fair, there might have been two or three people in that category); it was always just another delaying tactic by Abbott and Bernardi and Abetz and their ilk.

So now it's done, at somewhat more than the predicted cost to the mental health of the community at large, and it reveals nothing that was not already known; and the same old pack of irredeemable arseholes is now scrambling to design its next delaying tactic.

If Malcolm Turnbull were half a man, he would have faced down the dinosaurs in his party room on the threat of his resignation, right after the Coalition dumped the unelectable Abbott in his favour. But he didn't. He appeased them instead, and continues to appease them, and as a result Australia still doesn't have marriage equality, still doesn't have a clear and workable green energy policy, still doesn't have proper schools funding and still doesn't have anything even vaguely resembling stable government.

Turnbull has fucked up his term as PM to an even greater extent than he fucked up the National Broadband Network, and that's saying something.
posted by flabdablet at 7:10 PM on November 14 [24 favorites]


WTH Sydney, I've been away for a while but when did the western suburbs turn into an outpost of Trumpistan?

And thank you Warringah for sticking it right up Abbott's bigoted, diseased arse.

About bloody time, Australia.
posted by N-stoff at 7:14 PM on November 14


Wrong Blaxland qwip. Penrith is Lindsay 56.2% YES
posted by unliteral at 7:14 PM on November 14


WTH Sydney, I've been away for a while but when did the western suburbs turn into an outpost of Trumpistan?

It's less traditional left-right liberal-conservative class politics, and more culture and religion.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 8:23 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Penny Wong is on radio national in half an hour. 7:30am aedt.

I'm as straight as they come, but P-Wong is the closest I've ever come to a girl-crush. <3. Incredible woman.

So much happiness in Australia today for this result.
posted by Salamander at 9:09 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


If Malcolm Turnbull were half a man, he would have faced down the dinosaurs in his party room on the threat of his resignation, right after the Coalition dumped the unelectable Abbott in his favour.
If Turnbull ever possessed a spine, he bought it from the USyd guild shop in his student days and 'donated' it to Kerry Packer when he started working at ACP…

I've never understood why some on the Left liked him.
posted by Pinback at 9:38 PM on November 14 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I have mixed feelings about this. Relief that a majority of Aussies have proved themselves to be caring and ethical; happiness for friends of mine who are celebrating today; regret that we even had the stupid bloody survey in the first place. Plus a bit of schadenfreude that the anti-SSM team got to choose their weapon and still lost the fight anyway.

Turnbull is so fucking spineless. But he has to know now that if he lets Abbott, Bernardi and the rest of the old bigots prevent proper legislation, we'll throw him off the top of the Harbour Bridge, right?
posted by harriet vane at 9:46 PM on November 14 [5 favorites]


harriet vane: "Turnbull is so fucking spineless. But he has to know now that if he lets Abbott, Bernardi and the rest of the old bigots prevent proper legislation, we'll throw him off the top of the Harbour Bridge, right?"

Honestly that's my favourite part of this. Turnbull gave bigots free licence to hurl abuse at the entire LGBTI community (and not just gay folks - the transphobia from the No campaign has been appalling) in order to shore up his position in the party room, and now he's just as fucked as he was to begin with. Abbott, Bernardi, Sheldon, etc they're not backing down. The absurd, gross, and utterly unpassable Patterson bill is already floating around as ambit-claim from the far right. In the end, all Turnbull has accomplished is convincing progressives that the Liberal party doesn't actually have any worthwhile moderates anymore, and given a public platform for his own enemies. I don't normally enjoy seeing other people suffer, but I really want to watch him squirm over this. This just might be the best Christmas ever.
posted by saltbush and olive at 10:05 PM on November 14 [5 favorites]


Why do the losers think they have the right to write the legislation? The bill needs to be a paragraph long, takes out the words "man and woman". You're done.


I see an incredible synchronicity between a discussion of Malcolm Turnbull's career and the FPP "Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?

Yet arrogance and overconfidence are inversely related to leadership talent — the ability to build and maintain high-performing teams, and to inspire followers to set aside their selfish agendas in order to work for the common interest of the group.
posted by chiquitita at 10:30 PM on November 14 [6 favorites]


If Turnbull ever possessed a spine, he bought it from the USyd guild shop in his student days and 'donated' it to Kerry Packer when he started working at ACP…

Actual lol for truth.
posted by Salamander at 11:01 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Labor/Greens have 53% of the vote in Parramatta. Only 6.5% identify as having 'Australian' ancestry, with around 30% of people born in India, and with Hinduism the predominant religion at 29%, followed by 'no religion' at 21.4%.

...and I'm an idiot confusing a suburb's demographics with an electorate's. This is especially embarrassing as I used to live there. It should be 11.1% Australian ancestry, 14.7% born in India, 16.7% Hindu, Catholicism the dominant religion (21.1%), followed by 'no religion'.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 11:07 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Paterson's bill has been withdrawn, and Smith's more moderate bill has been tabled. The government wants this passed by the end of next week; both conservatives and the Greens want amendments but there's enough votes to pass Smith's bill as-is.
posted by Merus at 11:38 PM on November 14 [3 favorites]


I slightly wonder what Paterson was playing at: a claim that this is what "real" classical liberal would want? A stalking horse for conservatives who hate Turnbull? Cuddling up to the culture warriors? Does he know it looked kind of ridiculous? Was it supposed to?

But then it just doesn't seem worth the energy to figure it out.
posted by hawthorne at 12:21 AM on November 15 [1 favorite]


Excuse me, Athnassiel - Mount Waverley is in Chisholm which voted 62% Yes. Glen Waverley is in Bruce (along with Mulgrave, Clayton, parts of Dandenong etc).
posted by andraste at 12:35 AM on November 15


I'm so relieved! I had to hide in the bathrooms at work when the result was being announced because I didn't want to be around people if it was 'No'.
posted by daybeforetheday at 12:43 AM on November 15 [3 favorites]




I was at the announcement at the State Library in Melbourne this morning. I had my laptop with me because I was writing it up for Autostraddle; it very soon got pelted in confetti and powdered dye.

Even though I live here and am queer, the marriage equality thing felt very distant from me. I’m not a citizen, so I couldn’t get a ballot. My country of origin thinks people like me are invaders out to corrupt innocent youth and that giving us rights is “unislamic”; I can’t really go back to where my relatives are from because there’s a non-zero chance I’d be murdered. Not being able to marry seemed like small beans.

But it was great to be amongst people so happy, so relieved. Some weirded out because we...won...a thing...that never happens to us...WHAT?

I hope the eventual bill doesn’t screw us over. It’s such a low bar, but it sounds like the Aussie Gov heard that and thought we were playing limbo.
posted by divabat at 12:55 AM on November 15 [7 favorites]


Well, I'll be pleasantly surprised if Smith's bill heads through in a week or two without much obstruction.
posted by michswiss at 12:55 AM on November 15


WTH Sydney, I've been away for a while but when did the western suburbs turn into an outpost of Trumpistan?

Kennedy and Maranoa in Queensland are probably more the 'Trump-istan' you're thinking of. But the rest of rural and regional Australia voted YES. White people from outside the cities aren't as anti-gay as people feared.


posted by
Sedition at 1:09 AM on November 15


Yes, let’s blame the brown people, because that worked out SO WELL for Prop 8.
posted by divabat at 1:16 AM on November 15 [5 favorites]


I don't have any problem with people voting according to their conscience driven by faith. Western Sydney is heavily populated with migrant familes who voted along those lines. You're welcome. Democracy works. Try voting Green at the Federal my migrant friends! ??
posted by UnoDosTresEsto at 1:28 AM on November 15


FDOTM has doodled his thoughts via Ken the Hen, gender ambiguity chicken.
posted by michswiss at 1:53 AM on November 15




Yeah, sorry divabat (and everyone else) about the unfortunate/stupid way I phrased that. But noone's 'blaming' anyone just yet, are they? Except mainly Abbott, Bernardi, and Turnbull? The survey was a win for the YES side, after all.

But people ARE asking why so many Sydney electorates voted NO.

But absolutely point taken - it's too early really to trust any so-called analysis at this point, especially if it's particularly reductionist.
posted by Sedition at 2:45 AM on November 15


So a lot of inner Sydney's voters are actually Muslim young people. Australian.
posted by UnoDosTresEsto at 2:55 AM on November 15


Instead of creating a class of people who are legally allowed to discriminate, why not make marriage registration a purely civil affair? You can get "religiously married" by the cleric or celebrant of your choice, or solemnise it in any other way you choose, but the legally-binding bit gets done by a clerk at the registry office. It works that way in lots of places and they seem to manage OK.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:30 AM on November 15 [2 favorites]


Joe, that's exactly how my parents were married in England, in 1974.
posted by UnoDosTresEsto at 3:36 AM on November 15


The electorates of Franklin, Bendigo, and Boothby all hit 69%!

Franklin was my first electorate as a new voter, back in the day. So impressed and proud that it went 2-to-1 Yes. And proud of Tassie as a whole: a higher yes vote than NSW, Queensland, NT and South Australia. From the state known for being the slowest to decriminalise same-sex sexual activity between men, that's an incredible result. Even its most notorious hotbed of religious reactionaries (Braddon, in the state's west) voted 54% yes - and Denison, the central Hobart electorate, matched the 74% vote in the ACT.
posted by rory at 4:46 AM on November 15 [1 favorite]


But people ARE asking why so many Sydney electorates voted NO.

I don’t think we need to over-complicate this. It’s because Sydney is shithouse, mate. Certainly, I’m going to go ape-shit the next time someone describes western Sydney as representative of the ‘real’ Australia (looking at you, Latho) or holds a Q&A or election debate at some RSL there.

The people of Australia have spoken. Sydney needs to up its game or we’re cutting it loose.
posted by Jimbob at 12:27 PM on November 15 [3 favorites]


Sydney is the absolute pits. They couldn't even manage to keep a 24-hour Taco Bell running right along George Street, at basically the nexus of "pissed-as-a-fart-and-hungry-for-garbage" activity in the southern CBD. Kings Comics is overpriced non-stock and I bet that really nice secondhand-books-and-records store on Broadway is gone and is probably a shuttered Ugg boot shop or one of those weird luggage-and-key-cutting anomalies. The whole place smells like bad dick. The only good thing was that my bus always went past that underpass where they did the bellybutton-squid scene in The Matrix. And Centennial Park is the duck's nuts. But ultimately fuck off Sydney.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:37 PM on November 15


For my own self-interest, I was able to build a model that predicts the Yes vote share at the electoral district level with an r^2 of 0.75, which is pretty good for three parameters and an intercept. The three parameters are the population density of the district, the percent of residents who speak a language other than English at home, and the percent who commute by walk or bike*. As follows (note all parameters are crazy statistically significant):
Yes share = 0.493
          - 0.772 * (% of residents speaking language other than English at home)^2
          + 1.088 * (% of workers who commuted by walk or bicycle)
	  + 0.024 * ln(population per square km)
The model versus observed is plotted here; note that the model is on the x axis, so districts under the diagonal are areas where the model underestimated Yes support. It seems Victoria had slightly more support than would be expected and Queensland had slightly less, but neither by a ton.

The walk/bike commuters is really an identifier of inner city areas, where there was very strong support. Population density is less reliable as a measure of urbanity for a couple of reasons; for one, Australian cities tend to have a relatively flat density distribution; the CBDs can be very dense, but you don't have to go too far to find suburban detached houses, while walk/bike share strongly tracks proximity to the centre. Density can also be misleading in cases where "other" areas are included; Ryan is the second least dense district in Brisbane, because it includes Mount Coot-tha and other forest area on the west side of the city -- but it's adjacent to the CBD and contains UQ St. Lucia, and had the third highest Yes share (and sixth highest walk/bike commute share) in Queensland.

All that said, the population per square km was important for one group of districts -- the least dense ones. The highest walk/bike shares are in Sydney and Melbourne, but the third highest is Lingiari. All of the larger, remoter districts have high walk/bike shares -- the highest walk/bike share in Western Australia is Durack; the second highest in South Australia is Grey; Parkes has a higher walk/bike share than all but 5 other districts in NSW; in Queensland, the third through fifth highest walk/bike shares are Leichhardt, Maranoa and Kennedy. So the population density identifies the areas where the high walk/bike share is due to high remoteness, rather than high urbanity.

And that leaves us with the residents speaking a language other than English at home ("other language residents"). It's not a linear relationship; in fact, in districts with < 10% other language residents, the Yes support was only 61%, where it was almost 66% in districts with 10-40% other language residents. However, in districts with over 40% other language residents, Yes support dropped to 50.5%. In the 11 majority other language districts, Yes support was only 40%. I looked at other measures, including percent born outside of Australia and percent not citizens, but this measure -- which I suggest may represent a level of cultural assimilation not seen in the others -- was much more strongly correlated.

I don't think that this is necessarily a long-term effect; it sounds like part of it was a dedicated advertising campaign that flew partly under the radar of the English media, and those campaigns can fade; in the Canadian experience, once SSM is law, opposition quickly evaporates -- it's a lot easier to prey on people's fears of a hypothetical than it is once something's been happening for five years.

Here are three charts of the individual measures in the model, with outliers in other dimensions circled. Walk/bike share, pop density, % speak other languages at home.

* The percent of walk and bike is of workers excluding those with mode not specified, who worked at home or who did not go to work.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 4:02 PM on November 15 [8 favorites]


7 of the 12 in NSW - mostly inner-metro seats - are ones with the highest "No" vote in the country.

Greater Western Sydney is not "inner metro".

The "no" majorities start around Parramatta and sprawl westward from there. Even Strathfield to the East would struggle to be called "inner", but by any accepted definition Strathfield is the very outer possible limit of the Inner West.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:46 PM on November 15 [1 favorite]


Jimbob: "I don’t think we need to over-complicate this. It’s because Sydney is shithouse, mate. Certainly, I’m going to go ape-shit the next time someone describes western Sydney as representative of the ‘real’ Australia (looking at you, Latho) or holds a Q&A or election debate at some RSL there."
You jest a bit, sure, but it's been depressing watching everybody run around trying to find reasons to find acceptable justifications for why huge chunks of oh-so-liberal inner-metro Sydney voted No - while simultaneously writing off rural Queensland as irredemably redneck and dismissing chunks of outer north-west and south-east Melbourne as bible-bashing happy-clappers or "because immigrants", with their subtexts of "not real Australians"…

And people I know in the machinery of both sides of federal politics (in both Brisbane & Melbourne) have long been privately annoyed about the lazy tendency to treat Western Sydney as shorthand for 'real' Australia - when they're actually about as representative of that as Roma, or Queenstown, or Shepparton.

Not-totally unrelated or irrelevant: I'm currently reading John Safran's recent book, Depends What You Mean By Extremist (subtitled "Going Rogue with Australian Deplorables"). Now, John is definitely one of those commentators / public figures who is both extremely irritating and yet necessary - but, having spent some time myself years ago both around anarchist/socialist/lefty circles, and with a ringside seat on the internet to the public birth of Hansonism & the rise of the far-right, I think there's more truth and insight in the book's introduction alone than I've ever seen mentioned by the media or usual commentariat, or acknowledged by politicians…

Ubu: I went by the AEC's own descriptions / "Demographic rating" on their electoral division profiles. Not to say I didn't maybe miscount/misallocate 1 out of the 12, but I'm not going back to check them all…
posted by Pinback at 6:02 PM on November 15 [2 favorites]


From a queer Chinese Australian activist on Facebook, copied below for non-FB MeFites:
Can white lgbtq/allies who haven't stepped a foot into Western Sydney once and are saying 'multiculturalism is ruining Australia because of the high No turn out' sit the fuck down? If you didn't do ANY campaigning in Western Sydney for the yes vote - also do me the favour. You're inadvertently perpetuating minority divide, pitting lgbtq folk against ethnic minorities. It fucks over queer people of colour and what should be a happy celebration of a yes vote has been soured by racist rhetoric I've seen from allies.
As someone who campaigned a whole month in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities the results in Western Sydney weren't a huge surprise. Here's why this happened:
1. The No campaign went hard in to playing up migrants fears over marriage equality. In Western Sydney pumped out bilingual material and used fearful messaging that actually connected with the migrant community. The language barrier is a huge advantage when it comes to effective fear mongering. The deceptive bilingual material pumped out of the No Campaign into these specific communities was old school shit like gay marriage = aids" ""gay marriage = rape of your children/wives", "gay marriage = removing your son's penis". Many people I engaged with in mandarin had these weird fears until I explained to them what this plebescite actually meant and they said "oh shit I would have voted yes".
2. Class divisions. Western Sydney is predominately working class with lower education rates. This makes them way more suspectible to fear campaigns. Homophobic fear campaigns have been galvanising since the moral panic relating to safe schools. There is a reason why more middle class multicultural gcommunities voted yes.
3. Yes Campaign did not bother engaging these communities as strongly. There were some amazing campaigners reaching out to these areas. They fought hard but it was not nearly as much as the east. The Yes campaign strategy was ensuring that Yes inclined voters would actually go out to vote in one of Australia's first optional votes. There was already a majority, so consolidating base was essential. But that meant that turning the no inclined votes around was deprioritised.
4. The YES campaign's messaging was incredibly white. Saying "love is love" does NOT work on migrant communities - it's confusing & it's not translateable. From overseas data and surveys, messaging that does work in CALD communities is emphasising a narrative of equality and antidiscrimination to these migrant communities - which actually makes much more sense to their experiences. The yes campaign didn't use that as effectively.
5. Invisibility of Queer PoC platforming is the main campaign to grab attention or care from migrants. If there was way more Queer PoC visibility, migrants would have engaged more. A lot of migrants disengaged from the issue as the media tends to position this as a "white issue" when there isn't more diversity platformed.
6. Many many many multicultural communities around Australia voted yes. And yet we are coming down hard on ethnic minorities. You need to maybe think about WHY this specific multicultural community had such high no turn out rates.
7. Ethnic minorities make up less than 15% of the NSW voting population. Not all of us voted no. Remember that 42.2% of NSW voted No.
This does not discount homophobia, which is very much alive in these areas. As a queer Chinese Australian I can tell you this straight up. It sucks. It's hard. It doesn't let us off the hook. But let's not deny the barriers and inequalities these areas face. And please don't tie it down to something inherent within our culture or race. Lgbtq activism tends to be incredibly white (middle class and urban based) . The people being platformed, the stories being told, the language being used and the people being reached out to are white. That is literally why Australia transformed from 1970s where homosexuality is a crime to 2017 where Australia voted yes for gay marriage. Views changed with activism and education. This activism and access to education is inequally distributed. We need to ask ourselves how we can reach out to these communities long term and take care of the queer people of colour affected. We need to think, what intersectional ways can we make lgbtq activism more understandable to working class & migrants in these areas.
posted by prismatic7 at 7:20 PM on November 15 [25 favorites]


Yes, let’s blame the brown people, because that worked out SO WELL for Prop 8.

I'm not sure why I expected religious / conservative dickheads to be a whites-only phenomenon, but I'll readily admit to being somewhat bewildered that somebody who came to this country looking for a better life, who has probably been subjected to bigotry and hatred since they arrived, and who presumably wants a more open, tolerant society and equal treatment under the law would advocate to oppress others.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 7:27 PM on November 15


(And Jesus, what did I just type. I'm NOT saying immigrants are dickheads. I'm NOT saying my bewilderment is anybody's fault but my own through ignorance. I'm just sad that this is a thing. As prismatic7 notes above, you can't marginalise / avoid contact with groups of poorer, less-educated people with very strong, very old cultures then act surprised when you see them making choices you don't agree with.)
posted by obiwanwasabi at 8:17 PM on November 15


It's hard to deny that some recent migrant communities could soon be months behind mainstream Australian opinion on this issue.

That would leave them sitting with such fringe groups as the Anglican Archdiocese of Sydney -- the real prominent backers of No.

But remember that Senator Smith (the sponsor of the Bill) and Senator Wong have both been publicly against SSM in the recent past. The time was not ripe for them and now it is. Perhaps it will come to others and more easily. Perhaps some not directly affected will find out they know people when those people feel safer. How gutsy were those people who came out when it was almost unthinkable?

And Warren Ensch. He's been quite something.
posted by hawthorne at 5:43 AM on November 16 [3 favorites]


Oh look, the Turnbull hagiography has begun. Yes, how dare those ungrateful LGBT people be angry at Turnbull for deliberately provoking weeks of public vilification? Not to go all Sarah Hanson-Young on this one, but I seek leave to make a short statement : "bunch of homophobic--"
posted by saltbush and olive at 11:34 PM on November 16 [3 favorites]


From the ABC "hagiography" link:
"A lot of people had complained about the Coalition's plan for a plebiscite or postal vote to settle the issue of same-sex marriage.

But would a celebration like this have been possible without it?
"
I'm gonna go with "Yes"…
"The reality is, though, in the end it was Malcolm Turnbull who got this done. And he should be given credit for that."
Well done, Malcolm, for doing the absolute minimum you possibly could in the shittiest way possible…
posted by Pinback at 12:47 AM on November 17 [7 favorites]


What exactly does that hagiography imagine Malcolm Turnbull got done? There's no gay marriage in Australia today. The article asserts "few, if any, will stand in the way of it being legislated before Christmas". Um OK, but talk to me after the legislation. Also as the article notes "since the for and against numbers were roughly unchanged throughout the entire process, it was evidently unnecessary". I remember many Australians saying it was unnecessary before the whole disgusting survey was conducted. Who were saying holding it would be harmful. But the Australian government did the survey anyway and now it's done and there's not an immediate plan to enact equal rights. And we're supposed to be grateful?
posted by Nelson at 8:00 AM on November 17 [5 favorites]


Malcolm Turnbull boldly acquiesced to the mendacious demands of the right wing of the Liberal party and did the bare minimum to convey support of the Yes vote. Our Hero!
posted by chiquitita at 8:52 PM on November 17 [3 favorites]




I was talking to a friend about the vote yesterday. More mathematically-minded than I, he pointed out that 60% of 80% is 48%. So 48% of people eligible to vote actually voted yes. Then I remembered another friend saying she was on the tram thinking that now she knows 60% of her fellow passengers don't hate her. Which isn't true unless everyone on the tram was eligible to vote. In absolute terms against Australia's total population, only 32% voted yes. This is inner Melbourne, so the percentage of yes voters on the tram was no doubt higher than 32%, but still.

I know it's still a win. I know there are still reasons to celebrate. But my disappointment at the result not being higher actually has some grounding apart from my natural pessimism.
posted by Athanassiel at 3:44 PM on November 18


(61.6% of 79.5% is 48.972%; rounding up that's 49% but the point still stands.)
posted by Athanassiel at 3:53 PM on November 18


RE the 32%: many of us would love to vote yes if we could. I've been very grumpy about how my PR status made me ineligible and how people like me aren't even being considered at all, or if we are we're automatically assumed to vote No.

Against the total population also includes babies, which, well.
posted by divabat at 4:51 PM on November 18 [1 favorite]


We always presume that the outcome of a fair general vote reflects the general population. In this case especially your friend on the tram is correct, because only 32% (40% of 80%) of potential voters voted no. Every one else either voted yes, or didn't care enough to tick a box and post a letter. So I think it's fair to say that 68% of Australians either don't hate her, or at least don't hate her very much.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:55 PM on November 18


Or wasn't eligible due to lack of citizenship, age etc. I know. I remember being very annoyed one of the times little Johnny got re-elected and I missed out on voting against him by about a week because of when my citizenship ceremony was scheduled. Like I said, I know it's still a win. I guess I am just depressed today.
posted by Athanassiel at 8:10 PM on November 18




And the Smith bill is through the Senate, 43:12 without amendments.

Malcolm, being Malcolm, has delayed the Reps sitting so it still won't be the law of the land until next week.

I really don't understand what the clown car thinks it's gaining from the fingernails-scrabbling-at-the-cliff-edge delays on this.
posted by flabdablet at 7:39 PM on November 28 [1 favorite]


I really don't understand what the clown car thinks it's gaining from the fingernails-scrabbling-at-the-cliff-edge delays on this.

The next sitting of the House of Reps has been delayed to 4 Remember. The New England by-election is on 2 December. They're worried that the screaming-pile-of-rotting-ground-beef-in-a-hessian-sack that is Barnaby Joyce might suffer in the polls if the Coalition 'allows' marriage equality to pass in the House.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:31 PM on November 28


Barnaby Joyce might suffer

That can't be right. Suffering requires sentience.

And Baaanaby can't string a sentience together to save himself.
posted by flabdablet at 9:52 PM on November 28


Tim Wilson just used his speech on the bill in the House to propose to his partner. I don't think that's ever happened before.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 4:33 PM on December 3 [3 favorites]


Tim Wilson just used his speech on the bill in the House to propose to his partner.

A nice moment to be sure.

But I can't help but recall that Wilson is an IPA creature and a scum sucking pig bastard. So fuck him, even if he was on the right side of this issue.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:01 PM on December 3 [1 favorite]


Best wishes to Wilson's partner, but I question his taste in men.

It will be a happier day for the rest of us when Wilson stops taking the most inhumane positions available on issues he perceives as not affecting him personally.
posted by flabdablet at 5:23 PM on December 3


Tim Wilson has never voted against the majority of their party since entering Parliament in July 2016.

I think it's worth noting that many supporters of gay marriage opposed the plebiscite, so I don't think his support necessarily implies that he was on the right side of an issue.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:34 PM on December 3


I think it's worth noting that many supporters of gay marriage opposed the plebiscite

Damn straight we did. It was perfectly clear that the proposed plebiscite's primary purpose was heel-dragging delay, not an actual canvassing of public opinion, which was already well known.

And worth noting that we opposed this farcical postal survey as well, because

(a) it was not even the plebiscite the Tories had gone to the last election promising to deliver, merely an even more transparent and deluded delay and political face-saving tactic;

(b) just like the proposed plebiscite, it was never going to achieve anyhing but confirmation of public opinion as reflected in multiple prior surveys, all of them far better designed at far lower public expense;

(c) it provided an excuse for the Not Adam And Steve rump to publish a barrage of disgusting self-satisfied unexamined bigotry on every available broadcast medium, at great cost to the mental health of those already suffering from their tender mercies.

I find it difficult to express the loathing I feel on seeing the opportunistic toad Wilson, after voting in support of this hot mess, to jump on the feelgood bandwagon resulting from the very outcome he and his colleagues fought so consistently to delay.
posted by flabdablet at 6:10 PM on December 3 [1 favorite]


I can't help but recall that Wilson is an IPA creature

For those not already familiar with the Institute of Public Affairs, here's the IPA take on gay marriage as of the postal survey: against it, naturally, but as usual too mealy-mouthed to say so directly, preferring instead to chaff the issue with their customary bullshit FUD line about anything they disagree with's effects on "free speech".
posted by flabdablet at 6:31 PM on December 3


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