Prominent “no” campaigner and head of the Australian Christian Lobby Lyle Shelton has said he accepts Australia’s “yes” vote but has vowed to keep fighting against marriage equality “for years or decades”.
He told Fairfax Media that he accepted the decision but “in a democracy no question is ever completely closed.”
He said the “no” campaign would try and persuade Australians to “win this back over time.”
“That could take years or decades but I think there are millions of Australians who still believe that marriage is between one man and one woman and that is a public good,” he said.
“There may be a time in the future when we can persuade our fellow Australians to that position once again.”
The “no” vote ultimately attracted 38.4 per cent of the vote – more than 4.8 million Australians.
Former Prime Minister and strident “no” campaigner Tony Abbott also congratulated the “yes” campaign on Wednesday afternoon, dramatically changing his tone as it emerged that 75% of his electorate of Warringah had voted “yes”.
“I put this process in place. I have, in a sense, facilitated the change,” he told radio station 2GB.
He said he wouldn’t attempt to “frustrate the will of the public” and intended to facilitate the passage of a same-sex marriage bill.
“I think it is good that everyone had a say. I think the result should now be respected by the community and by the parliament,” he said.
In September he called the “yes” campaign a “war on our way of life”.