Australia legalises same-sex marriage
Australia’s parliament has legislated for marriage equality, passing a bill almost unanimously to allow two people, regardless of sex, to marry.
Yesterday the House of Representatives passed a cross-party bill after an unprecedented national postal survey gave unstoppable momentum to legislate the historic social reform.
Australia, which changed the law in 2004 to say that marriage is only between a man and a woman, now joins 24 countries which recognise same-sex marriage.
The lower house passed marriage equality with almost all members of the governing Liberal-National Coalition joining Labor, the Greens, and cross-bench MPs in a free vote to pass the bill which cleared the Senate last week sans amendment.
The only no votes were Coalition MPs Russell Broadbent, Keith Pitt, David Littleproud and independent MP Bob Katter.
Tony Smith declared the vote carried, since fewer than five MPs opposed it.
Couples hoping to marry will have to wait until the new year for the commencement of the bill and the 28day notice period to marry.