Dec 7, 2017, 2:52 AM ET

Australian Parliament approves same-sex marriage after long national debate

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Marriage equality is now a reality in Australia. Its Parliament voted on Thursday to allow same-sex marriage in the Commonwealth country.

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The House of Representatives passed a bill to change the definition of marriage from solely between a man and a woman to "a union of two people."

"The House of Representatives has passed the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017," tweeted the Australian House of Representatives. "The bill now goes to the Governor-General for Royal Assent."

The Equality Campaign, which had been advocating the change, tweeted, "It's a YES! Simply and fairly, #MarriageEquality is now law! Today our country can be truly proud. We did it together!"

The House was widely expected to approve the historic bill after the Senate approved the same legislation last week, 43 votes to 12.

A majority of Australian voters endorsed marriage equality in a postal ballot last month asking, "Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?" Of those who responded, 62 percent said "yes," and 38 percent said "no."

Members of the gay community and their supporters celebrate the result of a postal survey calling for gay marriage right in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. Australians supported gay marriage in a postal survey that ensures Parliament wilThe Associated Press
Members of the gay community and their supporters celebrate the result of a postal survey calling for gay marriage right in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. Australians supported gay marriage in a postal survey that ensures Parliament wil

Nearly 8 in 10 eligible voters participated in the survey, according to the government.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who had supported legalization, tweeted support for the measure after its passage.

Gay rights advocates celebrated outside Australia's Parliament House on Thursday before the final result.

"It's an historic day for Australia today, and I think the celebrations around the country when we finally ... achieve marriage equality are going to be immense," Janet Rice, a Greens party senator, told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The law will take effect in about a month, according to the AP.

News - Australian Parliament approves same-sex marriage after long national debate

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  • MaxVeritas

    Poor ABC news can't handle a differing belief so they remove my posts and like CNN promulgate fake news.

  • Pangaea 47

    I am so glad they are allowing gay marriages.

  • George

    once tRump finds out about this, he will ban all Aussie's from entering the US. tRump don't want it near him. he's afraid of catching the Aids.

  • robb1952

    Another nation will face God's wrath at the Judgment. Do not support any lifestyle that Almighty God calls an abomination. Remember, it is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of an angry God! <><

  • Steve Clancy

    So it looks as if Australia is becoming better than the U.S. regarding social issues, healthcare, and gun control. TheRump and his cronies are heading us into a downward spiral. We are losing what little respect we still had in the international community.

  • JuPMod

    Good. Another country recognizing human rights for LGBT people. People should not be discriminated due to their sexual orientation.

  • flnycus

    people are people, if they are good people, no problem. This is what the south and AL need to realize, just because you think you believe in a god doesnt mean you are a good person, heck they are the opposite right now if they vote for moore. Anyway, well done theAussies!
    Besides, since when do people judge people, i thought it was god that was supposed to judge them when they die, in the meantime people are supposed to be kind... funny how they forget the basic principles. They would hate jesus if he was around now.

  • Rudi Stein

    happy for them, but also s ucks for the sIackers in gay relationships that were using this as an excuse to stay away from committing. "Yeah, sure Bruce, of course I would marry ya, buddy, but, you know, it's not legal". No excuses now

  • ToothyGrinn

    Evangelicals and Conservatives remind me of Vegans; Constantly trying to force other people to live their way.

  • colloguy

    To this day, same sex marriage still angers some far right people.
    They don't have much for actual data as to why, other their their own desire to put their beliefs onto others.
    In my opinion, same sex marriage is one of the biggest accomplishments for human/individual rights.

  • threehundredthousand ✓ᵛᵉʳᶥᶠᶥᵉᵈ

    Good on yer, Oz!

  • Outlaw

    Good for Australia! Congrats to the happy couples.

  • Citizen123

    Congrats Australia!

  • Betty Bloop

    i wish we could have those 'postal ballots' where the voters can express their opinions about what we really want about certain specific issues. it would settle a lot of stuff once and for all.

  • ROBOTIX JONES

    Another step forward for humanity. Too bad the bigoted conservatives in America are trying their hardest to go back to the dark ages and bring everyone else with them.

  • PaulR

    How nice to read some good news upon arising. :)

  • Hugh1

    Great news, equality notches up yet another victory on the world stage. Congratulations Australia!

  • Arijit Thakur

    Congrats Australia!! Very soon, the USA would be the most socially backward country within the English speaking world.

  • Mrs Awesome

    Welcome to this century!

  • stephen_420

    This is awesome news and I sure wish we had a leader in chief like Australia....