Asia & Australia

December 08, 2017

Same-sex marriage legalized in Australia

same sex marriage

On December 6, Australia's House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, with just four votes in opposition.

The new law changes the definition of marriage from "the union of a man and a woman" to "the union of 2 people". Since 2004, there had previously been 22 unsuccessful attempts to make this change and after years of resistance from conservatives, this move has come.

This particular vote was preceded by a national postal survey wherein 61% of over 12 million respondents were shown to be in favor of marriage equality. The response prompted the government to allow a free vote in Parliament.

The vote caused immediate celebrations, including cheers and even a song, with supporters singing "I am, you are, we are Australian." Personal stories, including one that played out on the floor of parliament as Tim Wilson, an MP from Victoria, were shared by numerous senators and MPs.

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