Late Steve Irwin’s Daughter Urges Australia to Vote ‘Yes’ for Marriage Equality

Steve Irwin’s daughter voiced her support for same-sex marriage in a Saturday tweet urging Australians to vote in favor of equality.

Bindi Irwin posted a photo of herself holding one of the ballots recently sent out to more than 16 million voters in the non-binding plebiscite, the result of which will determine if the Parliament introduces pro-marriage equality legislation. The 19-year-old’s ballot is checked “Yes” as she flashes a toothy grin.

“Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?” she wrote to her 334,000 followers. “Love is love. Yes, Australia.”

Irwin, an actress and conservationist, became a household name in her native Australia following the international success of The Crocodile Hunter, a reality show starring her parents, Steve and Terri. Her father, famous for his fearlessness when interacting with wild animals, was killed in 2006 after being struck in the chest by a stingray.

The younger Irwin’s tweet went viral at a pivotal moment in the nation’s debate over same-sex marriage. Since ballots began being sent out to Australians’ homes on Sept. 12, the plebiscite has devolved into an ugly catastrophe.

A woman in South Brisbane, located in the territory of Queensland, posted a Facebook photo on Sunday of a rainbow flag that had been vandalized with a swastika spray-painted on it. There have been numerous reports from across the country of ballots being stolen, tampered with, and thrown in the trash.

As attacks and disinformation campaigns targeting the LGBTQ community ramp up, recent polls show that these tactics are working. Public support for same-sex marriage has dipped to 55 percent, dropping four points in just two weeks.

Numerous celebrities have voiced their support for Australia’s LGBTQ people in the face of an unprecedented wave of hate. Famous Australians who have come out for same-sex marriage include actors Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Rose Byrne, Margot Robbie, and Liam Hemsworth, as well as Americans Ellen Degeneres and Tim Cook.

Elton John, who tied the knot in 2014 after the U.K. legalized marriage equality, urged Australia to “embrace the honesty and courage that seeks gay marriage as an expression not of desire but of love.”

“Being able to openly love and commit to one another, and for that to be recognised and celebrated is what makes life truly worth living,” John said in a Sept. 21 Instagram post. “That acceptance and support makes us want to be as kind, responsible and productive members of society, as well as the best parents, that we can be.”

The results of the plebiscite will be announced in November.

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