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Australia legalizes marriage equality in historic vote

Australia legalizes marriage equality in historic vote

"Marriage equality is finally the law of the land and it's time to start celebrating".

The bill was introduced in parliament by the conservative government after Australians last month endorsed the reforms in a controversial voluntary postal vote.

"It is a big Australian hug for all same-sex couples", Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told Channel Nine on Friday morning, in a string of media interviews. The Senate had already passed its own version of the bill the week prior. "What a day, what a day for love, for equality, for respect", he said.

"This is a day for every Australian".

Marriage equality campaigners have fought for years for Thursday's vote.

Applause reportedly rang out in the viewing gallery when the bill was passed. This means couples who don't want to be referred as "husband and wife" may be able to take their partner as they lawful wedded spouse.

The House struck down multiple amendments from former prime minister Tony Abbott, Treasurer Scott Morrison, junior members Michael Sukkar and Alex Hawke, Andrew Hastie, Andrew Broad, and Sarah Henderson, Sky News reported.

"It's time that that occur and I'm proud that it will occur", Mr Bowen said.

"It's a historic day for Australia today and I think the celebrations around the country when we finally ... achieve marriage equality are going to be vast", Greens party senator Janet Rice said.

The vote came after Australians voted "yes" following a two-month national same-sex marriage survey.

"The Australian people were promised that their freedom of speech, freedom of religion and parental rights would be protected in any same-sex marriage legislation, and this has not happened", he said.

In the end, 61.6% of Australia voted in favor of allowing same-sex marriage, with 38.4% saying "no". More than 12 million people participated.


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