Australian Parliament allows same-sex marriage

Same-sex marriage bill looks set to pass Parliament

As the proceedings unfolded in parliament #MarriageEquality began trending in top spot worldwide. In the Senate, voting on this bill took place a week earlier.

Others saw it as a rare Christmas gift from the government. "A time to build, a time to love, and is now at last a time for marriage equality", he said. "And now it is up to us here in the parliament of Australia to get on with it". In November the results of a forced but not binding postal plebiscite of Australians found over 60 percent support the right of same-sex couples to marry.

Just last month, Australians overwhelmingly voted via a nationwide poll to make marriage equality a law in their country.

The bill passed its third reading with only four members of Parliament in opposition. They plan to marry next year, and Abbott has said he'll attend despite his personal views.

Australia's House of Representatives backed a bill to change the definition of marriage from a union between a man and a woman to "a union of two people".

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Turnbull told Parliament that while nothing in the bill threatened religious freedoms, he wanted more reassurances for the millions of Australians who oppose marriage equality.

Several parliamentarians who supported the changes wore rainbow-coloured socks or ties, including Warren Entsch, described in local media as a "fiercely heterosexual... crocodile-farming, bull-catching Liberal".

The bill passed with only five MPs dissenting.

"This amendment will enable marrying couples to word their marriage vows in a manner that best reflects their relationship", the explanatory memorandum to the bill states.

An Australian MP named Tim Wilson even proposed to his partner, Ryan Bolger, in the middle of the debates. It was most recently authorised on Tuesday by Austria's top court by 2019 at the latest.

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