Australia’s Parliament votes to legalize same-sex marriage

Australia’s Parliament votes to legalize same-sex marriage

Australia’s Parliament on Thursday voted to make same-sex marriage legal.

Just four members of the House of Representatives voted against the bill, according to The New York Times. Last week, the legislation passed in the Senate.

“This belongs to us all,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said, according to the Times.

“This is Australia: fair, diverse, loving and filled with respect. For every one of us this is a great day.”

 

Spectators in the gallery started to sing “I Am Australian” after the bill’s passage. 

 

The bill says marriage is “the union of two people,” instead of “the union of a man and a woman.”

 

According to the Times, the Parliament in Australia has attempted to legalize same-sex marriage 22 times since 2004 — none of which had been successful.

 

The first legal same-sex marriages will likely begin taking place in January.

The vote comes after a national referendum earlier this year showed Australians were in support of legalizing same-sex marriage.

In a government survey, 61.6 percent of Australians said they supported same-sex marriage. Just 38.4 percent said they didn’t approve of same-sex marriage.

At the time of the survey, Turnbull said the Australian people had spoken and voted “overwhelmingly ‘yes’ for marriage equality.”

“They voted ‘yes’ for fairness, they voted ‘yes’ for commitment, they voted ‘yes’ for love,” he said last month.

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