Marriage Equality Is Finally Real And Legal In Australia


Same-sex marriage campaigners and volunteers cheer as they call on politicians to pass marriage equality legislation during rally outside Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017.

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

The bill has cleared both houses after passing the Senate last week and now only requires approval from the Governor General, a formality that will likely happen on Friday.

Liberal MPs Jason Falinski and Trent Zimmerman gave their support to the bill.

"This is a great day, it belongs to every Australian".

The former cabinet minister told parliament marriage was a "natural arrangement" between a man and a woman and pre-dated politics.

"A promise was made by the leaders of this parliament and this promise has not been adequately delivered on", Mr Abbott said.

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"In my first speech I defined our bond by the ring that sits on both of our left hands, and they are the answer to a question we can not ask", an emotional Wilson said, referring to the first time he addressed the Parliament previous year.

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

The move follows a two-month national postal survey that showed 61% of more than 12 million respondents were in favor of marriage equality.

Gay marriage was endorsed by 62 percent of Australian voters who responded to a government-commissioned postal ballot last month.

While marriage equality could become law this week, state marriage registries say they would not have the paperwork to proceed with weddings until January.

The next day, Liberal MP Andrew Wallace, who is a devout Catholic, shared with his colleagues how his gay daughter helped change his position on same-sex marriage.

Australians have always been in favor of same-sex marriage, with polling from as long as 10 years ago showing a majority support for legalizing marriage equality.