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Same-sex marriage now allowed in Australia, 1st wedding likely in February

07 December 2017, 09:40 | Taylor George

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Will you marry me? Australian politician proposes to his partner in parliament

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Will you marry me? Australian politician proposes to his partner in parliament

The bill passed the House of Representatives this afternoon after hours of emotional debate, with more than one hundred MPs speaking on the issue.

Abbott and other conservatives proposed amendments to the bill to include further religious protections, all of which were voted down.

Politicians sang "I Am Australian" in the chamber as the rainbow flag was waved.

"What a day for equality, for love and respect", Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said after the decision was delivered. "Australia has done it", said Mr Turnbull just before the parliamentary vote.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten quoted the Book of Ecclesiastes from the Bible, adding a line that does not appear in the Old Testament - that there is a time for marriage equality.

This is the time frame more than 100 MPs had to share their thoughts on same-sex marriage in a speech to Queensland Parliament.

The Governor-General now needs to give royal assent to the bill and it will be law, likely within the next few days.

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Thousands of same-sex couples living in Australia who were married overseas will instantly have their unions recognised under the law.

The legal change brings Australia into line with the majority of the English-speaking world, with same-sex marriage already legal in 25 countries including Canada, New Zealand, the United States and the UK (excluding Northern Ireland).

The lower house had been widely expected to pass the legislation, after the bill drew broad cross-party support.

All proposed amendments to the bill were knocked back, meaning that marriage equality will become law without special provisions for bakers, florists and civil celebrants to refuse service to same sex marriages. Changes suggested by the Greens were also defeated.

The House of Representatives is holding its final two-week session of the year, which is giving priority to lifting the ban on same-sex marriage in Australia.

When the result was announced, there was a standing ovation in parliament.



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