On Thursday, Australia's House of Representatives passed a bill legislating for marriage equality. The bill, which will allow same-sex couples to legally marry in Australia, passed almost unanimously at around 6pm, with just Russell Broadbent and Bob Katter voting against the bill and a handful abstaining from the vote — Tony Abbott, Kevin Andrews, Scott Morrison and Barnaby Joyce. It follows on from a similar result in the Senate on Wednesday, November 29th, where the bill passed unaltered 43 votes to 12.
The outcome of the bill put forward by Western Australian Liberal senator Dean Smith was all but sealed following the result of the national plebiscite, announced on November 15th, but that didn't stop a full day of debate in the House. Discussion centred around a series of amendments proposed over the protection of religious freedoms, all of which were voted down individually.
Following the result, Smith said that "people can be proud that over the last few weeks they have seen the best of their parliament, the best of their parliamentarians", dedicating the victory to young LGBTI people: "You are OK, it will all be OK and this is a great country to grow up and be an LGBTI Australian."
Immediately following the result, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull could hardly contain his joy/relief, exclaiming: "What a day! What a day for love, for quality, for respect! Australia has done it."
Meanwhile, Australia's Attorney-General George Brandis released a statement outlining the next steps, saying that from Saturday, December 9th, same-sex couples will be able "to lodge a notice of intended marriage to commence the one-month minimum notice period required before the solemnisation of marriages under the Marriage Act."
Topics: Marriage Equality