Australia's parliament has approved a
same-sex marriage bill, making Australia the 25th nation
to extend marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples.
According to News.com.au,
the legislation cleared the House of Representatives on Thursday with
all but four “yes” votes. As many as 12 MPs abstained from
The bill cleared the Senate last week.
Passage comes about three weeks after
the government announced results of a postal vote on whether it
should extend marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples. An
overwhelming majority (61.6%) of Australians who participated voted
Supporters of the legislation defeated
attempts to attach amendments to the bill aimed at undermining the
rights of married gay couples. Adding amendments to the bill would
have triggered a new round of voting.
“Australia has done it,” Prime
Minister Malcolm Turnbull told the House. “Every Australian had
their say, and they said, 'It's fair. Get on with it.'”
“We've voted today for equality, for
love, it's time for more marriages, more commitment, more love, more
respect. This is Australia: fair, diverse, loving and filled with
respect,” he added.
The first weddings are expected to take
place as early as January 6, 2018.
Authored by out Liberal Senator Dean
Smith, the bill was introduced the day after results of the postal
vote were announced.
Smith told ABC News (Australia) that
the historic change was “owned by everyone, it is owned by the
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