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Australia Has Legalised Same-Sex Marriage

After a postal survey indicated overwhelming support for marriage equality, MPs have pushed through legislation on the last sitting day of the year.

Katherine Gillespie

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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—we've been wanting to write this news story for some time.

As the bill passed into law, a tearful chorus of "We Are Australian" broke out in the public sitting gallery, which was filled with marriage equality campaigners and supporters.

All those Australian same-sex couples who got married overseas are now automatically legally married here. Congrats! Now that equal marriage is legalised, no doubt we will see thousands of weddings take place 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 favour of marriage equality.

Parliament then moved to legislate, and after spending most of their political careers avoiding the topic of equal marriage, Senators and MPs have spent the past weeks rhapsodising on it. More than 120 of them have made speeches on the topic, most speaking in favour. Several amendments have been proposed on both sides of politics, but none have passed. In his usual inexplicable way Tony Abbott went on and on about Safe Schools, thankfully to no real avail.

That's not the last we've heard of those amendments, however: 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. Great.

Get excited for the Federal Government to brag about this achievement, which came at a significant cost to the LGBTQI community over a period of many months. Years, really.

Malcolm Turnbull has already been confirmed as a guest on next week's Q&A, so expect some smugness.

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