Australia Lawmakers Allow Same-Sex Marriage Bill

Australia Lawmakers Allow Same-Sex Marriage Bill

After years of fierce public debate, the Australian Parliament passed the Bill legalising same-sex marriage on, 7 December.

MPs have voted in favour of making same-sex marriage legal. Only four voted no.

13 years ago Australia changed the law to explicitly outlaw same-sex marriages.

"We've voted today for equality, for love, it's time for more marriages, more commitment, more love, more respect", Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said.

"Love has won, and it's time to pop the bubbly", Greens MP and same-sex marriage supporter Adam Bandt said.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten also spoke ahead of vote, saying: "Australia, we are going to make marriage equality a reality in minutes".

The legislation, drafted by Liberal Senator Dean Smith, passed through the upper house last week without any changes.

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"In the course of this week, many hours have been taken up with Labor Party motions about citizenship and penalty rates, matters that could properly have been dealt with after marriage had been dealt with, but no the Labor Party rushed their motion in in the hope that they would get it voted on before the Member for New England made his return".

This is by no means the end of the fight for LGBTQIA rights in Australia, but it's one of the biggest leaps forward we've seen in our lifetime.

Gay marriage was endorsed by 62 percent of Australian voters who responded to a government-commissioned postal ballot last month.

It was opposed by proponents of same-sex marriage, who wanted direct legislative action and argued a poll would expose gay people and their families to hate speech.

Australia's first same-sex weddings will not take place until at least January, however, because of a longstanding requirement for all Australian couples to provide a full month's notice of their intention to get married.

"This is a day for every Australian".

Australians have always been in favor of same-sex marriage, with polling from as long as 10 years ago showing majority support for legalizing marriage equality. Nearly 80 percent of Australia's registered voters took part in the two-month survey.

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