RELIEF, a sense of validation and the changing of a country.

They were the thoughts of Australian seniors as the country ushered in a historic moment when the 'yes' vote won by a landslide in the fight for same-sex marriage.

Every state and territory returned an affirmative in the much-criticised postal survey with the final count a whopping 61 percent of Australians voting 'yes'.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull immediately vowed to make same-sex marriage law by "Christmas".

And that's music to the ears for Australian seniors of the gay community who have waited a lifetime to be treated as equals.

"Marriage equality nationally will see the long wait be worthwhile, the shame lifted - it will be relief and validation and a realisation of how troubles were and what a great thing it was to survive and celebrate," Jamie Gardner, 69, told agedcareguide.com.au.

Dr Catherine Barrett, founder of Celebrate Ageing, said it was a watershed moment for a generation of people who suffered tremendously at the hands of vitriol and discrimination.

"After what they have been through there are great feelings of relief and lots of tears… it really means a lot," she said.

However, the pain of those years, and the backlash borne from the survey, may leave a lasting legacy of anguish and mental scarring.


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