The Australian House of Representatives has passed same-sex marriage bill into law. This is aimed changing the definition of marriage from solely between a man and a woman to ‘a union of two people’.
The bill passed its third reading on Thursday with only four members of the parliament in opposition.
“This belongs to us all,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, a longtime supporter of same-sex marriage who had previously failed to get it legalized, said. “This is Australia: fair, diverse, loving and filled with respect. For every one of us this is a great day.”
After the vote, spectators in the public gallery began singing “I am Australian,” a well-known anthem. Lawmakers stood and looked up at the gallery, some wiping tears from their eyes.
Gay rights advocates praised the landmark vote even as they said it was long overdue. In a country where there had been 22 unsuccessful attempts in Parliament to legalize same-sex marriage since 2004, they said, the law should be seen as the triumph of a democracy learning to live up to its values.
Source: New York Times