The gay Liberal senator behind the same-sex marriage bill said he never believed his relationship would have equal recognition in an emotional address to parliament. "I just really do need to visit Australia now", he quipped.
The postal vote saw an overwhelming result in favour of marriage equality.
Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull attends the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Danang, Vietnam November 11, 2017.
Nearly 62 per cent of the 12.7 million people who participated in the two-month postal survey voted in favour of allowing gay marriage, the Australian Bureau of Statistics announced at a press conference in Canberra.
"We will now do what we can to guard against restrictions on freedom of speech and freedom of religion, to defend parents" rights, and to protect Australian kids from being exposed to radical LGBTIQ sex and gender education in the classrooms, ' he said. "Parliament still has to pass Australia's unequivocal mandate for equality into law".
"Australians have voted yes for fairness, they have voted yes for commitment, they have voted yes for love".
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Senator Brandis told ABC Radio the changes would help "reassure" the millions of Australians who voted no, even if they may not be "legally necessary".
'I very much look forward to that'.
Irish-born Qantas Airways Chief Executive Alan Joyce, one of the few openly gay business leaders in Australia, told the Sydney crowd, many of whom sheltered from the sun under rainbow umbrellas, that the result was "an awesome outcome" and urged Turnbull to move quickly on legislation.
The "no" campaign had sought to leverage powerful religious organisations in a survey campaign that was criticised by some in the "yes" camp as divisive and aggressive.
Attorney-General George Brandis said he would support an amendment that allowed civil celebrants - as well as religious celebrants - to refuse to marry same-sex couples.
Turnbull and the opposition Labor Party have backed a simpler draft bill that legalises gay marriage while allowing religious institutions to refuse to Wednesday same-sex couples if they oppose the practice.