Australian Senate passes same-sex marriage bill

Australian Senate passes same-sex marriage bill

Australian Senate passes same-sex marriage bill

The Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017 proposes changes to the definition of marriage in the act and also acknowledgement of same-sex unions that have been solemnised in other jurisdictions.

With the majority of lawmakers in the lower house in favor of the bill, it's expected to pass easily, reported Australia's ABC News.

It will now go in to the House of Representatives for debate next week, but advocates believe the legislation should pass without too much hassle.

Despite alleged filibustering attempts by conservative politician Matt Canavan to delay the vote beyond the 12.45pm deadline, Attorney-General George Brandis moved a motion to keep debating the motion until 2pm.

Wong urged the lower house to follow the Senate's lead, to vote for a bill that reflected Australians' desire for equality.

Australians overwhelmingly showed their approval of same-sex marriage in a recent postal poll.

'In a world where there are more tensions between people, our country has offered a loving embrace to its own, ' Senator Smith said. "There is nothing to hide", he said in an emotional speech on Tuesday. "Your love is not lesser, and nor are you", she added.

Australian Greens leader Richard Di Natale said this historic moment made him proud of his country.

"And now it is up to us here in the parliament of Australia to get on with it, to get on with the job the Australian people have tasked us to do and get this done".

"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. "It has been good for us all", Senator Smith said.

Senators were overcome with emotion on Wednesday as the bill sailed through the upper house. "It says you're one of us".

"It's disappointing the government hasn't done more to try to ensure that freedom of religion isn't protected at the same time as same-sex marriage is passed", Mr Abbott told Sydney radio station 2GB.

When Malcolm Turnbull took the prime ministership from his conservative predecessor, Tony Abbott, in September 2015, he retained the Coalition's commitment to hold a national plebiscite on same-sex marriage before changing the law.

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