According to Australia’s Melbourne Ports Residents for Marriage Equality (MPRME), globally there are now 607 million people living in jurisdictions with full marriage equality. That number represents 8.6% of the total world population.
“What this shows it that marriage equality is not just a temporary fad,” said MPRME spokesperson, Tony Pitman. “It’s a wave of equality that’s sweeping the globe. It’s a fundamental human rights reform that’s an inevitable part of social progress.”
With the resumption of same-sex weddings in California last week, the number of people living with marriage equality has exceeded 600 million for the first time ever. Though Australia is not included in that figure, Pitman says that it’s only a matter of time.
Recently, Kevin Rudd became the first Australian prime minister to support same-sex marriage, although he opposed it in his first term. A devout Christian, Rudd cites his “evolution” on the issue to discussions with several people, including his daughter.
“Wherever I go in Australia, it just hits you in the face what young people think about this, which is that our current arrangements are just wrong and offensive to people,” he said in a press conference. Rudd urged opposition leader Tony Abbott to allow for a conscience vote in the next parliament and hinted at a possible “plebiscite or referendum” if he refuses.