Australia parliament passes same-sex marriage bill

Final vote on same sex marriage bill looms

Final vote on same sex marriage bill looms

After the longest campaign, we're finally there: the marriage equality bill has been passed by both houses of Parliament, and will soon become law across the country.

The 33-year-old primary school teacher responded "yes", which was recorded in the official parliamentary record.

About 120 MPs have spoken during debate on the bill.

The House of Representatives is widely expected to vote to allow same-sex marriage across the nation.

Labor leader Bill Shorten said the new law spoke for a modern Australia, "inclusive and fair".

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told parliament, just after a round of applause across the chamber and in the public gallery, the legal change belonged to all Australians. Dutton said none of his allies meant to delay gay marriage until those safeguards were decided. "The question though is we need to get the balances right in terms of the protections of those people who have fundamental beliefs based on religion or otherwise", he added.

Entsch said related amendments to bolster freedoms of speech and education rights could be debated in a separate bill next year and should not be sued to delay the reform. "Australia has done it", he said.

The government has appointed a panel to examine how to safeguard religious freedoms once gay marriage was a reality in Australia.

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

Most gay marriage opponents accept that the Parliament has an overwhelming mandate to make the change.

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