Australian lawmakers have listened to the overwhelming voice of their constituents — and fully legalized same-sex marriage in the country.
“This is Australia: fair, diverse, loving, and filled with respect for everyone,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said prior to the vote, according to CNN. “This is a great day; it belongs to every Australian.”
The House of Representatives’ vote happened on Thursday, following a Senate vote from last week to legalize same-sex marriages. Only a tiny minority of four in the House voted against marriage equality.
The country’s first official same-sex weddings will happen in January, because Australia has long required that couples give a month’s notice on their intent to marry.
Australia is actually the second country this week to move to legalize same-sex marriage, with an Austrian court ruling that the European country must allow the marriages in 2019.
The House’s vote was filled with celebration and cheers. After the vote, ministers and guests in the chambers began singing, “I am, you are, we are Australian.”
— ABC News (@abcnews) December 7, 2017
The parliament’s vote comes after a government-sanctioned survey that polled Australians on marriage equality. About 61.6 percent of Australian voters said yes, same-sex marriage should be legalized. A majority in every single state and territory voted in favor of it, with a turnout of 79.5 percent of eligible voters nationwide.
The results then went to the government, which opted to survey the population before the parliament took up its own vote on the issue. Turnbull promised a vote by Christmas.
And now LGBTQ Australians have won — and marriage equality is the law of the land.
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