Australia Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

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Australia’s parliament voted to legalize same-sex marriage Thursday after years of political jockeying and fierce public debate.

Cheers and applause broke out as lawmakers voted in favor of the bill following hours of debate and emotional speeches at Parliament House in Canberra.
“This is Australia: Fair, diverse, loving and filled with respect for everyone,” said an effusive Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, as he introduced the bill for a final vote.
“This is a great day, it belongs to every Australian.”
The bill passed its third reading with only four members of parliament in opposition.
The parliamentarians who voted in favor of same-sex marriage took time to let the jubilant moment sink in, celebrating with hugs, handshakes and proudly sporting rainbow-colored clothing.
In a particularly poignant moment, the ministers on the House floor and guests in the gallery began singing “I am, you are, we are Australian.”
The move follows a two-month national postal survey that showed 61% of more than 12 million respondents were in favor of marriage equality.
The country is now the 24th in the world to allow same-sex couples to marry, according to Pew Research.
Australia’s first same-sex weddings will not take place until at least January, however, due to a longstanding requirement for all Australian couples to provide a full month’s notice of their intention to get married.

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