53 weeks ago, work began in parliament to finally come up with a bill that would, at last, see same-sex marriage a reality in Australia.
Today a change to the Marriage Act was voted on and passed in the House of Representatives, same-sex couples can now legally marry in Australia.
More than 120 members of the lower house of the Australian Parliament spoke during the debate which lasted 21 hours and concluded very late on Wednesday night.
Thursday saw amendment after amendment voted down before the bill was finally put to the vote and was passed by a huge majority and became only the 30th private member’s bill to be passed in parliament.
Only 4 members voted no.
The gallery of the House of Reps burst into applause and cheers around the chamber including a rendition of “I am Australian” which rung out through the halls of parliament.
As the bill went into law, the Liberal Party champion Warren Entsch choked back tears as he spoke of the incredible happiness he felt.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who had stood fast in the face of criticism over the plebiscite, was also incredibly moved by what had just been completed.
“It’s time for more marriages, more commitment, more love and more respect – the marriage bill will now be read a third time.”
Leader of the opposition was stirred the momentous occasion.
“Now is the time for healing and now is the time for marriage equality”
More to come.
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