It's time for more marriages.
Marriage equality has passed!
— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) December 7, 2017
Marriage equality is now a reality in Australia. The country’s parliament voted on Thursday to allow same-sex marriage in the commonwealth country. Australia’s Parliament passed a bill, to legalize same-sex marriage following a long push for marriage equality. The House of Representatives approved the legislation without amendments after hours of emotional speeches and debate. Only four members of Parliament voted against the the legislation. The vote set off immediate celebrations in parliament, prompting cheers, applause and even a song.
“What a day for love, for quality, for respect,” said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. “Australia has done it.” Emotional MPs hugged each other before supporters in the public gallery began singing “I am, you are, we are Australian”.
Australia has passed #marriageequality. I want to pay tribute to every single LGBTI person and ally who fought for years to get us to this moment. Today is our day. Today love won, and all Australians are better off for it. 🏳️🌈
— Jason Ball (@jasonballau) December 7, 2017
ABOUT THE BILL PASSED
— ABC News (@ABC) December 7, 2017
The bill to amend the Marriage Act was first introduced in the Senate last month, immediately after a national poll showed 61.6% of Australians favored change. The bill includes exemptions for registered religious celebrants, who can refuse to marry same-sex couples on the basis of their faith.
Some conservative politicians had sought to extend exemptions to others, such as non-religious celebrants and businesses, but those proposals failed. More than 12.7 million people – about 79.5% of eligible voters – took part in the national poll, which ran for eight weeks.
“It is a special relationship between man and a woman for the purposes, if you are so lucky, for bringing children into the world,” Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said.
The Equality Campaign, which had been campaigning to have the definition of marriage changed, tweeted, “It’s a YES! Simply and fairly, #MarriageEquality is now law! Today our country can be truly proud. We did it together!”