Parliament legalizes same-sex marriage
AUSTRALIA: Australia on Thursday became the 26th nation to legalize same-sex marriage, prompting cheers and singing from a packed parliament public gallery in a country where some states ruled homosexual acts to be illegal until just 20 years ago.
Lawmakers, who had cast aside a conservative push to allow religious objectors to refuse service to same-sex couples, waved rainbow flags and embraced on the floor of the chamber, where earlier in the debate a politician had proposed to his same-sex partner. Fewer than five of 150 MPs voted against the law. “What a day. What a day for love, for equality, for respect,” said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. “It is time for more marriages.”
The laws, which will also recognize same-sex marriages solemnized in foreign countries, take effect from Saturday. Because a month’s notice is required for the state to recognize a marriage, the first legal same-sex unions would be in January. — Reuters