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Rainbow Shines Over Australian Skies; Same Sex Marriage Legalised!
08 December 2017, 12:59 | Darnell Patrick
Australia Legalises Same-Sex Marriage in Historic Parliamentary Vote
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, a long-time supporter of same-sex marriage was ecstatic and said this was a key moment in Australian social reform.
The Senate passed the same legislation last week 43 votes to 12.
The bill passed its third reading with only four members of Parliament in opposition.
Same-sex marriage will now be legal across Australia after the country's Parliament voted to allow it. Gay marriage was endorsed by 62 percent of Australian voters who responded to a government-commissioned postal ballot by last month.
"It's time for more marriages, more commitment, more love, more respect", Turnbull said.
Following a national postal survey that indicated overwhelming approval for marriage equality, lawmakers road this momentum to draft a multilateral, cross-party bill to legalize same-sex marriage. "Every Australian had their say and they said it is fair, get on with it!"
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Republicans are expected to offer a motion to table the resolution later Wednesday, effectively killing Green's resolution. The House has to approve the articles of impeachment by a simple majority before they would move on to the Senate.
About 12.7 million people participated in the survey, which had a response rate of almost 80% - which is considered very high. Leading "no" campaigner Lyle Shelton said it was "deeply disappointing" day.
Australia joins about two dozen countries around the world, including Germany, which have legalized same-sex marriage.
The House vote took place on the last sitting day of parliament for the year, with more than 100 MPs speaking on the bill this week.
"The House of Representatives has passed the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017", tweeted the Australian House of Representatives. The 500 or so people in the gallery were vocal in their disapproval of the amendments.
Politicians, who had cast aside a conservative push to allow religious objectors to refuse service to same-sex couples, waved rainbow flags and embraced on the floor of the chamber, where earlier in the debate a politician had proposed to his same-sex partner. One MP's speech ended with a marriage proposal - a first for the lower house. They included prominent same-sex marriage advocates, including former Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe and local comedian Magda Szubanski.
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