Australian Senate passes same-sex marriage bill

Saul Bowman
November 30, 2017

43 members of Australia's Senate voted to pass a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.

Senator Abetz said he also believed a lot of people who voted yes in the postal survey would also be disappointed in the way the bill had been rushed through the senate, describing it as being "bulldozed through".

"In a world where there are more tensions between people, our country has offered a loving embrace to its own", an emotional Senator Smith said ahead of the vote.

'A few brief moments of joy is what our country has ached for because we know it will result in a lifetime of joy for so many others'.

"You are a normal person and, like every other normal person, you have a need to love ..."

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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has promised to legalise same-sex marriage by Christmas and recently announced the House of Representatives would not break for the holidays until the law is passed.

Earlier, at a doorstop on Wednesday the attorney general, George Brandis, said the Senate debate had been "very thorough" but hisdefeated amendments to declare that religious freedom was not harmed by the bill and to allow civil celebrants to refuse weddings should be considered in the lower house.

"Our relationships have existed for a long time".

"We have seen in this debate how our Parliament is meant to work", he said.

Some conservatives had wanted to add an amendment that created two separate definitions of marriage, one for heterosexual couples and one for everyone, which was rejected.

"I think the failure to fully protect celebrants who have a conscientious or may have a conscientious or non-religious objection to solemnising a same-sex marriage is a missed opportunity for our parliament to unify", he said.

Senators were overcome with emotion on Wednesday as the bill sailed through the upper house. The government has said the house will not adjourn until the legislation is passed.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale said discriminatory laws had been sent to the dustbin of history.

'Today I am so proud of this country'.

A total of 17 senators, including One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, abstained from the vote.

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