Bill passes through House of Representatives

Australia has officially become the 26th country to legalise same-sex marriage after the law was passed on Thursday with the overwhelming backing of the Federal Parliament.

There were jubilant scenes in the public galleries and chamber where crowds and politicians rose to their feet, clapped and cheered. Many sang ‘I am, you are, we are Australian’ and waved rainbow flags.

A vote on marriage equality passes the House of Representatives chamber Parliament House in Canberra. Courtesy: Kym Smith

Governor-General Peter Cosgrove could ratify the law in a matter of days which would ultimately make same-sex marriage legal in Australia before Christmas, as promised earlier by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The laws will then come into effect on a date set by the government or within 28 days.

The Senate had already passed the bill without amendments with the House of Representatives following suit this afternoon.

Liberal MPs Jane Prentice, Tim Wilson and Warren Entsch hold up a sign saying “Ryan said yes”. Courtesy: Alex Ellinghausen

Thirteen years after changing the Marriage Act to explicitly forbid same-sex unions, federal politicians voted to undo the last major piece of discrimination against gay and lesbian Australians.

Final amendment voted down: jubilant scenes in public galleries

The final amendment has been voted down. Ayes: 63. Noes: 79. The public galleries have erupted.

Equality ambassadors and volunteers from the Equality Campaign gather ahead of vote. Picture: Sean Davey/AFPSource:AFP

Tony Smith reminded the crowd there is still the third reading to go.

The vote on legislation is now imminent and expected to take place within 30 minutes.

“What a day, what a day for love, for equality for respect,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said.

“It is time for more marriages, more equality, more love.”

The public galleries rose to their feet, cheered and sang when it became clear the vote on marriage equality legislation was imminent.Source:Supplied

Opposition leader Bill Shorten said: “When this bill is passed we should declare we are no longer a nation who voted no or yes, we are simply Australians all. Equality is never a gift to be given.”

 

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