This article originally appeared on VICE Australia. It took them long enough. At the last possible moment, on the final day of parliament's sitting year, lower house MPs have managed to pass legislation that will allow same-sex Australian couples to marry. Australia finally has marriage equality.
As the bill passed into law, a tearful chorus of "We Are Australian" broke out in the public sitting gallery court of Australia's parliament building, which was filled with marriage equality campaigners and supporters.
All those Australian same-sex couples who got married overseas are now automatically legally married in Australia. Congrats! Now that equal marriage is legalized, there is no doubt that there will be thousands of weddings across the country in coming days and months, too.
This historic day follows the results of an already infamous $122 million non-binding postal survey process, which saw 60 percent of Australians tick a box in favor of marriage equality.
Parliament then moved to legislate, and after spending most of their political careers avoiding the topic of equal marriage, MPs have spent the past weeks rhapsodizing on it. More than 120 MPs have made speeches on the topic, most speaking in favor. Several amendments have been proposed on both sides of politics, but none have passed.
That's not the last we've heard of those amendments. The arch-conservative former Howard minister Philip Ruddock is leading a review into Australia's religious freedoms—the results of which are to be announced in March next year. It seems likely, therefore, that Australia's marriage laws will be debated once more.
Get excited for the federal government to brag about this achievement, which came at a significant cost to the LGBTQ community over a period of many months.
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