The result of a national poll in Australia gave a clear win for the legalisation of same-Sex Marriage in an important step forward for equality for the country’s LGBT community. More than 61 percent of the population voted yes in this poll, with a nationwide participation of almost 80 percent of Australians.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said at a press conference in the country’s capital Canberra, after learning the results, “They voted yes to fairness. They voted yes to commitment. They voted yes to love”.

This poll was controversial from the beginning

When announced, many voices were against a national vote, arguing the issue should be voted in parliament alone. There were also concerns regarding the high cost of a postal vote and the opinions and attacks that would come out surrounding such a divisive matter.

Soon enough, concerns were proved to be true. According to the Huffington Post, Australia's statistician, David Kalisch, concluded that the national survey would cost more than AU$75 million, although below the 97 million budgetary limit.

The campaign became ugly where both sides have been accused of reprehensible acts. According to ABC News website, grandson of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was punched for supporting the 'Yes' camp; Qantas boss Alan Joyce, was assaulted with a pie for the same reason, and a skywriter was hired from the 'No' side to write "Vote No" in Sydney's skies.

On the other side, there were reports of a campaign to deregister a medical doctor, who took part in a 'No' ad; a worker, Madlin Sims was fired by her employer in Canberra, after she posted a picture on Facebook that said "it's OK to vote no"; in Brisbane a church meeting was cut short by a student protest; and the former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, leader of the 'No' campaign, was headbutted.

The vote, however, isn't legally binding

Although the vote for equality in marriage was won by a large margin, there's still a need for parliament approval. The prime minister, defined the end of the year, as the limit for moving forward with a law giving equal marriage rights to same-sex couples. The ruling Liberal Party drafted two bills (which are expected to be debated soon) by two different senators, where religious protections and conscientious objectors, are covered.

According to a survey led by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the majority of members of the parliament said they would vote 'yes' if the national poll turned out that way, which could lead Australia to become the 26th country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage.

This result gathered a worldwide support, from several institutions and celebrities including comedian Ellen DeGeneres.