Australia has finally legislated for marriage equality, with the same-sex marriage legislation resoundingly passing its historic final vote on Thursday afternoon.
Liberal Senator Dean Smith’s same-sex marriage bill passed the House of Representatives unchanged after a marathon debate.
A crowd of marriage equality campaigners, ambassadors and volunteers cheered and sang “I Am Australian” from the parliament’s public galleries after the history-making vote.
The crowd, which included marriage equality ambassadors Magda Szubanski, Dr Kerryn Phelps, Ian Thorpe, Daniel Kowalski and Christine Forster and many others, gathered for a joyous rally on the parliament lawn on Thursday morning before moving inside to watch proceedings.
Over the course of Thursday, several sets of amendments to the same-sex marriage bill were all defeated in the lower house.
Here's the moment Australian parliament voted to legalise same-sex marriage and started singing "We Are Australian". pic.twitter.com/DexvOUC9WQ
— Alice Workman (@workmanalice) December 7, 2017
Veteran marriage equality campaigner Rodney Croome said it was an “overwhelming feeling to realise that we’ve done it” after a decade-long campaign.
“I want to thank all of those involved in the campaign, whether like me you have lived and breathed it for the last 14 years, or whether you came on board in recent months,” he said.
“Every person who ticked ‘yes’ played a part in this momentous victory for Australia.
“I also want to honour those who didn’t make it to this moment. For many LGBTI people, the road was too fraught and the price was too high. I wish you were here to see your country embrace you.”
— AU Marriage Equality (@AMEquality) December 7, 2017
— Matt Akersten (@MattAkersten) December 7, 2017
More than 120 lower house MPs have delivered often emotional speeches during a marathon debate on the bill this week.
Following Thursday’s vote the bill will go to the Governor-General for Royal Assent.
Couples must give 28 day’s notice before their weddings, and Attorney-General George Brandis said same-sex couples will be able to do that from this Saturday (December 9).
— Christine Forster (@resourcefultype) December 6, 2017