Australian Parliament says yes to same-sex marriage in landslide vote

Division in House of Representatives paints a lonely

Division in House of Representatives paints a lonely

The house spent the day voting on amendments to the bill, none of which passed (otherwise it would have gone back to the Senate).

Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, gave an emotional speech as he declared: "What a day for love, for quality, for respect. Equality isn't in our legal birthright of every Australian and this equality is long overdue", said Mr Shorten.

The bill passed the Senate last week with 43 votes to 12, with Labor Senator Penny Wong reaching to hug Liberal Senator Dean Smith afterwards.

"I am, you are, we are Australian".

The country is now the 24th in the world to allow same-sex couples to marry, according to Pew Research. Thirty-one couples, including Dublin man Stephen Dawson and his partner Dennis Liddelow, got married in the five days before the federal government overturned and annulled all the gay marriages carried out in that time.

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Applause reportedly rang out in the viewing gallery when the bill was passed.

"This is Australia - fair, diverse and filled with respect".

The legislation was brought to parliament through the upper house, following a non-compulsory, non-binding postal survey in which 61.6 per cent of people voted Yes.

"My previous public comments regarding civil divorce never envisaged me separating from my wife, but rather our marriage from the state", he said.

Opponents of the changes argued they would legalize discrimination against the gay community.

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The law will come into effect in the new year.

Thursday was set to be a historic day for gay marriage advocates in Australia, with same-sex marriage expected to pass in the late afternoon.

"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 a year ago.

"It also looks like they are going to vote down the right of churches to refuse to hold same sex marriages and marriage celebrations in church halls and the like", he added.

About 12.7 million people participated in the survey, which had a response rate of almost 80% - which is considered very high.

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