Parliament approves same-sex marriage
SYDNEY, Australia – Australia legalized same-sex marriage Thursday, paving the way for the first gay weddings to be held early next year and triggering jubilant celebrations at Parliament House. Lawmakers and supporters of marriage equality in the public gallery cheered and applauded as the legislation was passed in the lower chamber, three weeks after the public overwhelmingly backed changing the law in a nationwide survey.
“Australia has done it,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said. “Every Australian had their say and they said it’s fair, get on with it. The parliament has got on with it, and we’ve voted today for equality, for love.” Australia is the 25th nation to legalize same-sex unions, according to the Marriage Equality campaign group, trailing countries such as the U.K., Ireland and New Zealand. Even though the nation’s largest city, Sydney, has famously held its Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras since 1978, regional areas were more reluctant to embrace gay marriage and the issue has divided parliament for years.