AFP / SEAN DAVEY
Same-sex marriage campaigners cheer in front of the Australia’s parliament ahead of the vote
Gay couples will be able to legally marry in Australia after a same-sex marriage bill Thursday, ending decades of political wrangling. There were loud cheers, hugs and sustained clapping in the 150-seat lower House of Representatives when passed the bill 43-12 last week.
“What a day for love, for equality, for respect! Australia has done it,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told the House. “Every Australian had their say and they said it’s fair, get on with it!” The historic reforms will begin on Saturday, when same-sex couples can book a room to marry. They will then have to wait a month before tying the knot. Labor opposition leader Bill Shorten hailed the passing of the bill as a uniting moment for Australia, adding: “Now is the time for healing. “A time to build, a time to love, and is now at last for marriage,” he said. Same-sex marriage campaigners converts into the nation’s capital Canberra to celebrate the historic occasion, which sees Australia join more than 20 other countries in recognizing such unions. “We came, we saw, and finally conquered love,” co-chair of the Equality Campaign Alex Greenwich told reporters.
AFP / SEAN DAVEY
Australia has joined more than 20 other countries in recognizing same-sex unions
“We thank all Australians for their support for saying yes, we are in favor of many years, for over 10 years, for fairness and equality.” The bill was introduced by the Conservative government after Australians last month endorsed the reforms in a controversial voluntary postal vote.
Nearly 80 percent of eligible voters took part in the poll, and almost 62 percent of the 12.7 million people who took something “yes” on their bales. The vote had been called by Turnbull, a moderate who backed gay marriage, in the face of hardliners who refused to back to national plebiscite on the issue. It was argued by proponents of same-sex marriage, who wanted to speak to gay people and their families to hate speech. Just under five million people voted “no”, with conservative politicians using their rejection as a catalyst to push for religious exemptions to be included in the bill. But after lengthy debate, both houses of parliament Leading “no” Lyle Shelton said it was “deeply disappointing” day. “The Australian people were promised that their freedom of speech, freedom of religion and parental rights would not have happened,” he said. – Weddings early next year – The House votes to take place on the last day of parliament for the year, with more than 100 MPs speaking on the bill this week. Queues of people lined up to the public gallery, with some dancing and cheering. In moving scenes, the whole parliament, the aftermath of the bill passed, the words “I Am Australian” song: “We are one, but we are many, and we are all earth” ll share a dream and sing with one voice; ‘I am, you are, we are Australian’. ”
AFP / SEAN DAVEY
Several parliamentarians who supported the changes wore rainbow-colored socks or ties
Several legislators who supported the changes wore rainbow-colored socks or ties, including Warren Entsch, described in local media as “fiercely heterosexual … crocodile-farming, bull-wrestling Liberal”. MPs have paid tribute to Entsch over the past few weeks for his efforts, with the veteran Liberal MP speaking passionately about his “very lonely” journey in support of equal rights on the conservative side of politics.
“This bill will take us to one of our places,” Entsch told parliament this week. One of the most anticipated wedding will be the Liberal Party Tim Wilson, who proposed to his friend Ryan Bolger while speaking on the House of Commons. Same-sex marriage is now recognized in more than 20 countries, of which 16 are in Europe. It was most recently authorized by Austria’s top court by 2019 at the latest.