Marriage Equality Is Finally Real And Legal In Australia

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Only four MPs voted against the bill, with cheers, applause, tears and the waving of rainbow flags in the public gallery as the final vote was conducted. "Equality isn't in our legal birthright of every Australian and this equality is long overdue", said Mr Shorten.

'A significant concern that millions of Australians have about these proposed changes to marriage laws is the manner in which the freedom of speech and religion is threatened'.

The country is now the 24th in the world to allow same-sex couples to marry, according to Pew Research.

Marriage equality campaigners have fought for years for Thursday's vote. "And now it is up to us here in the parliament of Australia to get on with it".

The Australian people voted in favour of change by 61.6 per cent, triggering Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's promise to change the Marriage Act by Christmas.

The Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017 was voted xx to xx in favor of legalizing marriage equality.

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"These amendments are important and I stress they are not against same-sex marriage, they are simply in favor of the rights of religious organizations to keep doing what their doing", Abbott said.

The bill passed the House of Representatives this afternoon after hours of emotional debate, with more than one hundred MPs speaking on the issue. On Thursday night, Queensland MP Bob Katter, who went viral for his dismissal of gay marriage in light of fatal crocodile attacks, delivered a 15-minute speech declaring that same-sex marriage was not of interest of gay couples because heterosexual couples weren't getting married either.

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

But on Wednesday morning, long-time marriage equality supporter Warren Entsch introduced the second reading of the Bill.

About 12.7 million people participated in the survey, which had a response rate of almost 80% - which is considered very high.

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