Australia Parliament Passes Same-Sex Marriage Bill

Australia could have same-sex marriage before the end of the day

Australia could have same-sex marriage before the end of the day

Only four MPs in the lower house voted against the private bill this afternoon, just over a week after it was agreed to by the Senate.

MPs have voted in favour of making same-sex marriage legal.

Politicians sang "I Am Australian" in the chamber as the rainbow flag was waved.

"In my first speech I defined our bond by the ring that sits on both of our left hands, and they are the answer to a question we can not ask", an emotional Wilson said, referring to the first time he addressed the Parliament previous year.

Those who opposed the bill were Bob Katter, Keith Pitt, David Littleproud and Russell Broadbent.

"What a day for love, for equality and respect", Mr Turnbull said.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten quoted the Book of Ecclesiastes from the Bible, adding a line that does not appear in the Old Testament - that there is a time for marriage equality.

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Some of the voted down amendments included; increased religious freedoms, allowing parents to remove their children from classes at school if it was teaching them about same-sex marriage and allowing wedding celebrants to refuse to officiate on same-sex marriages.

Thousands of same-sex couples living in Australia who were married overseas will instantly have their unions recognised under the law.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's government introduced the bill after Australians overwhelmingly voted in support of same-sex marriage in a national vote.

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 House of Representatives is widely expected to vote to allow same-sex marriage across the nation. Changes suggested by the Greens were also defeated. The amended legislation would then have to go back to the Senate for ratification.

Last month, the results of the government's voluntary postal survey were announced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Among them was Christine Forster, the gay sister of Tony Abbott, the former Australian Prime Minister who has always been seen as the face of the "no" campaign. That could happen as early as this week, which would make it law before Christmas.

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