Australian Parliament approves same-sex marriage following lengthy national debate

Parliament Speeches on Same-Sex Marriage Become Emotionally Charged in Final Week of Debates

Tracy Clark and her partner Justyna Greinart embrace as they gather with a crowd of people to watch a large television screen at Federation Square as it is announced that same-sex marriage will be legal in Australia with Parliament agreeing to change the Marriage Act and end the ban on gay and lesbian couples marrying on December 7, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.

In a historic move, the same-sex marriage bill was passed through the House of Representatives.

The House of Representatives along with the Senate voted in favour of the law that will change the existing definition of marriage in Australia.

The vote sparked up Celebrations in parliament, prompting cheers, applause and even a song.

"The overwhelming final lower house vote ... is a hugely welcome result after the weeks, months and years of campaigning, particularly after the more recent anxiety and distress for LGBTIQ people and our families", Sally Goldner, a bisexual and transgender rights advocate in the city of Melbourne, told the Washington Blade after the vote. More respect. Marriage equality has passed!

The legislation sailed through parliament without amendments after Australians overwhelmingly supported the reform in a voluntary national poll.


The bill now needs to be ratified by Australia's Governor-General, who represents Queen Elizabeth II as head of state, to make it law. It was most recently authorised on Tuesday by Austria's top court by 2019 at the latest.

Many senators and MPs related personal stories in explaining why they supported the bill.

One highly anticipated wedding will be the Liberal Party's Tim Wilson, who proposed to his partner Ryan Bolger while speaking on gay marriage on the floor of the House earlier this week.

"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 on Thursday.

The vote came after Australians voted "yes" following a two-month national same-sex marriage survey.

Senators who opposed the compulsory vote did not necessarily oppose legalization but said the vote would be costly and fuel hate campaigns.

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