Australia’s Parliament has voted to allow same-sex marriage across the nation and this has led to immense celebrations across the country as Australians declare it’s “a day for love”.
The House of Representatives passed a bill to change the definition of marriage to simply “a union of two people”, instead of a man and a woman, after the country overwhelmingly endorsed the move in a public ballot last month following a bitter and divisive debate.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull proclaimed a “day for love, for equality, for respect” as Australia became the 26th country in the world to legalize same-sex ceremonies. As soon as the bill was passed today, the public gallery erupted with applause, cheers, and singing. Votes were not counted because the majority was not questioned, but fewer than five MPs registered their opposition. The Senate passed the same legislation last week by 43 votes to 12.
The laws, which will also recognize same-sex marriages solemnized in foreign countries, will take effect from Saturday. Because a month’s notice is required for the state to recognize a marriage, the first legal same-sex unions will be in January.
“What a day. What a day for love, for equality, for respect,” said Mr Turnbull. “It is time for more marriages, more love, more respect… This belongs to us all. This is Australia.”