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Marriage Equality Passed In Australian Senate

The same-sex marriage bill has been passed by 43 votes to 12!


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Australian Marriage Equality | Facebook

 

History was made today when the Senate passed the marriage equality Bill by 43 votes to 12, succeeding where more than 20 previous attempts have failed. At just two weeks after the survey vote was announced, the Senate said YES to equality, voting down amendments designed to wind back discrimination protections. Talk about the best cherry on top; this is truly a historic moment.

 

This is the first time a marriage equality bill has ever passed through a chamber of parliament.

 

This victory is the culmination of over a decade of work by supporters of marriage equality like you. Whether it was activism right from the start, calling YES supporters to make sure they posted their YES votes, or even having a conversation with friends, family, or colleagues, it’s all contributed to this historic moment. 

 

Of course, the Bill still needs to pass the House of Representatives. For now it's looking as though Turnbull's promise to "get this done" before Christmas will pull through, as it's anticipated that it will be passed next week. The sitting was originally scheduled however for this week but was controversially cancelled by the Government. An explanation from Christopher Pine stated that the cancellation was so Parliament could focus exclusively on marriage equality. However, Labor opposition suggested it was to side-step the possibility of losing votes on the floor, due to the Government's situation of having two MPs currently mixed up in the all-consuming duel citizenship drama. 

 

Picture: Gary Ramage | Source: News corp Australia

 

Labor Senator Penny Wong expressed how important this moment was not only to the LGBTI community, but also for the entire country. "Today, we stand on the cusp of a remarkable achievement and a historic event," she said. "Every day, it is a great privilege to stand in this place, but there are some days which are a great moment, which change our country for the better. This is such a day." 

 

 

Before the vote, Liberal Senator Dean Smith, responsible for writing the cross-party same-sex marriage Bill that was passed, brought up the death of Tori Johnson in the Martin Place Lindt Cafe Siege, revealing the Australian had an impact on his support for marriage equality. 

 

"Tori lost his life in the Lindt terrorist siege. He was brave, he was courageous and he had a partner named Thomas," Smith said. "I thought of their loss and it changed me. I realised that people with real lives deserve their love to be blessed and affirmed by the institution of marriage if they so choose." 

 

 

Next to a jubilant Janet Rice, he praised the leaders and activists before, who tirelessly fought for marriage equality in a time where it was exceedingly more difficult than what we know today. See video above from Sky News Australia. 

 

 

The Senate exploded with high-spirited applaud when the Bill was passed, paving the way for a jolly Christmas indeed. Considering the 43 to 12 result, it's safe to say, today will be one penned in the history books as a landsliding victory. 

 

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