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  • Marchers hold signs and banners as they participate in a marriage equality march in central Sydney, Australia, October 21, 2017.

    Marchers hold signs and banners as they participate in a marriage equality march in central Sydney, Australia, October 21, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

The Australian parliament passed a marriage equality bill that now makes Australia the 25th country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.

Following a national postal survey that indicated overwhelming approval for marriage equality, lawmakers road this momentum to draft a multilateral, cross-party bill to legalize same-sex marriage.

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In 2004, Australia changed its marriage law to interpret marriage is solely between a man and a woman.

The marriage equality bill won massive support in the House of Representatives where nearly all members of the ruling Liberal-National Coalition joined by Labor and the Greens voting in favor of the bill. The Senate had already passed its own version of the bill the week prior.

Russell Broadbent, Keith Pitt, David Littleproud, and Bob Katter were the only MPs to vote against the bill.

When the vote had finished, MPs cheered in celebration to commemorate the landmark decision.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who was in attendance, told the MPs that “Australia has done it - every Australian had their say, and they said ‘it’s fair, get on with it’.”

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“We’ve voted today for equality, for love, it’s time for more marriages, more commitment, more love, more respect,” he continued. “This is Australia: fair, diverse, loving and filled with respect.”

Activists have praised the passage of this bill as a historical landmark and a symbol of the progress made by Australia’s LGBT community.

Prime Minister Turnbull campaigned in 2015 on the promise of having a revisitation of Australia’s marriage laws.

With the new bill, same-sex couples that were legally married in other countries will now have these marriages recognized.

The bill is expected to roll out mid-December.


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