Australia Legalises Same-Sex Marriage in Historic Parliamentary Vote

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"We are one, but we are many", they belted out in unison.

"We'll share a dream and sing with one voice".

"The amendments. go very much, again, to the heart of religious liberty that we've seen voted down again and again today in this house", George Christensen, a coalition MP for Dawson, declared on the floor of the House.

Australia's House of Representatives overnight passed its same-sex marriage bill in a massive landslide vote, with just four Members of Parliament out of 150 voting no.

Onlookers in the packed public gallery hugged, cheered loudly and started applauding and waving their rainbow flags.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, a long-time supporter of same-sex marriage was ecstatic and said this was a key moment in Australian social reform. "Australia has done it!"

"This is Australia - fair, diverse and filled with respect".

In June, the United Nations Human Rights Committee said Australia's transgender "forced divorce" laws were in violation of global human rights law.

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

The law is likely to take effect in around a month, after royal assent and other formalities are completed, according to The Washington Times.

As opposed to a union between a man and a woman, the same-sex marriage bill recognises marriage as simply "a union between two people".

"Australians have spoken in their millions and they have voted overwhelmingly yes for marriage equality", he had said after the result was announced. And I said to LGBTIQ Australians in particular, you have given us a gift. Today is in your honour.

"This has been a tough road for LGBTI Australians, their families and friends".

And though many were upset by how long it took for the LGBT+ population to be served equal rights, a feeling of relief was palpable across the site.

But the state parliaments will get 12 months to make the changes themselves before they are trumped by federal law. "Together, we did this".

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