Australia Legalises Same Sex Marriage

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It's a YES! A final parliamentary vote on a bill to legalise same-sex marriage has passed.

The House of Representatives passed the bill to change the definition of marriage from exclusively between a man and a man to "a union of two people".

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

The bill has cleared both houses after passing the Senate last week and now only requires approval from the Governor General, a formality that will likely happen on Friday.

"This is a day for every Australian".

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"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".

Australia's Senate had voted decisively in favour of the gay marriage Bill last week, reported the BBC. "At long last, LGBTIQ Australians will be equal under the law".

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

If approved without amendments, the bill will become law.

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

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A nonbinding postal survey found that 62 percent of Australian respondents wanted gay marriage to be legal.

Many same-sex marriage supporters travelled to Canberra to witness the outcome in the lower house.

Liberal MP Michael Sukkar's amendment to keep two definitions of marriage - one for same-sex couples and one for heterosexual couples - was also roundly defeated, with many of Mr Sukkar's Coalition colleagues voting against his motion.

"Australians have spoken in their millions and they have voted overwhelmingly yes for marriage equality", he had said after the result was announced.

"That is why I will support several amendments to the bill which will provide that additional reassurance in respect of their fundamental rights and freedoms", he added.

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