May 21, 2018

Same-sex marriage passes in Australian Senate

30 November 2017, 12:52 | Marta Robbins

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson Young cries as she speaks on the same sex marriage bill in the Senate chamber

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson Young cries as she speaks on the same sex marriage bill in the Senate chamber

But shortly after 1.30pm in the national capital, Canberra, the Senate voted in favour of passing the same-sex marriage Bill.

With the majority of lawmakers in the lower house in favor of the bill, it's expected to pass easily, reported Australia's ABC News. This was despite the fact the majority - 63.6% - of Tasmanians voted in favour of same-sex marriage.

Australia got closer to legalising marriage equality.

Repeating a concern that he voiced several times during the senate debate, Senator Abetz said that Senator Smith's bill went further than most Australians realised because it would also allow transgender and intersex people to Wednesday. The bill will then be debated in the House of Representatives on Monday.

'Your love is not lesser, and nor are you.

'It says to so many Australians, this parliament, this country, accepts you for who you are, ' she said.

Labor senator Louise Pratt praised the activist movement which had led to legislative change.

Celebrations in Melbourne as the Yes vote was announced
Celebrations in Melbourne as the Yes vote was announced

The Tasmanian senator said that it should be remembered that religious rights are part of Australia's worldwide obligations, while same sex marriage was not.

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The vote, which went on for two months, was done via a non-binding postal survey.

In his speech Smith - the first openly gay federal parliamentarian in Liberal party history - credited the death of gay man Tori Johnson in the Lindt cafe siege for changing his views on same-sex marriage. "He was fearless, he was courageous and he had a partner named Thomas", Smith said. "I realised that people with real lives deserved their love to be blessed and affirmed by the institution of marriage if they so choose".

It also includes a clause where "religious marriage celebrants" are not required to officiate same-sex weddings if it violates tenets of their faith.

Smith thanked colleagues for a respectful debate which he said showed the "soul" of Brandis, the "lived experience" of Wong, Louise Pratt and Janet Rice, and the "conscience" of opponents of same-sex marriage.

On Wednesday the education minister, Simon Birmingham, said Turnbull had demonstrated "very strong leadership" by "showing a pathway through" and delivering marriage equality.

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