Friday, 15 December, 2017

Australia Parliament Passes Same-Sex Marriage Bill

Final vote on same sex marriage bill looms Where we are in the SSM debate
Kenny Thornton | 07 December, 2017, 09:41

Same-sex marriage will be legal in Australia, with Parliament agreeing to change the Marriage Act and end the ban on gay and lesbian couples marrying.

During the Lower House debate, more than 100 MPs spoke for over 28 hours on the proposed Bill.

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

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull looked particularly pleased, though he was criticised on Twitter, and accused of trying to take credit for this.

Under political pressure to find a solution, the ruling Liberal National Coalition government announced the non-compulsory survey in August, saying if the result was "yes" they would allow a free vote in Parliament.

The votes in favour of the bill were not even counted as a majority was not questioned. And I said to LGBTIQ Australians in particular, you have given us a gift.

"This is a day for every Australian".

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Liberal backbencher Kevin Andrews, who is against same-sex marriage, believes the bill contains very little protection for religion and belief.

"We must not fail to recognize that there is honest, heartfelt anxiety about the bill's impact on religious freedom", Turnbull said.

"This Parliament, when we passed the marriage equality law, is not a gift from us to LGBTIQ Australians, equality is never a gift to be given".

Same-sex marriage supporters wearing colourful "Yes" T-shirts clapped and cheered as amendments were voted down, prompting repeated warnings they should stop their barracking.

The move follows a two-month national postal survey that showed 61% of more than 12 million respondents were in favor of marriage equality.

While marriage equality could become law this week, state marriage registries say they would not have the paperwork to proceed with weddings until January.

Gay marriage was endorsed by 62 percent of Australian voters who responded to a government-commissioned postal ballot last month.

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