Australia’s Parliament voted overwhelmingly to legalize same-sex marriage today, overcoming years of conservative resistance to enact change that the public had made clear that it wanted.
There were just four votes against the bill.
Well done Australia.
Tim Wilson proposing | Sky News/House of Representatives | 17168
Tim Wilson, a gay Australian MP, fought back tears as he popped the question to Ryan Bolger just moments after a bill paving the way for same-sex marriage was introduced in Australia’s House of Representatives. It was the first time an MP had proposed on the floor of the House.
He said: “In my first speech I defined our bond by the ring that sits on both of our left hands – that they are the answer to the questions we cannot ask. So there is only one thing left to do: Ryan Patrick Bolger, will you marry me?”
Mr Bolger, who was sitting in the public gallery, quickly responded “yes” as the floor erupted in applause, and house speaker Rob Mitchell added: “That was a ‘yes’, a resounding ‘yes’. Congratulations, well done mate.”
Two weeks after Australians overwhelmingly endorsed same-sex marriage, the Australian Senate approved a bill to allow gay marriage by 43 votes to 12.
They also rejected amendments to legally protect people who refuse to provide professional services to same-sex couples on religious grounds, including lay ministers and civil celebrants, as well as vendors like caterers and florists.
The bill will go to the lower House of Representatives next week, where it is also expected to be approved.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull aims to have the bill approved before Christmas.
The result of the Australian postal vote on gay marriage is now known, and it is a decisive yes.
Here is the official result.
Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?
Of the eligible Australians who expressed a view on this question, the majority indicated that the law should be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry, with 7,817,247 (61.6%) responding Yes and 4,873,987 (38.4%) responding No. Nearly 8 out of 10 eligible Australians (79.5%) expressed their view.
Well done Australia!
77 per cent of Australians have voted on whether gay marriage should be legalised. There are seven days until the survey closes.
The turnout is higher than when Ireland held a referendum on the same issue in 2015.
More than 16 million registered voters in Australia (population 24 million) received voting papers. The Australian Bureau of Statistics said about 12.3 million forms had been returned to them. Voting ends at at 6pm on November 7.
Huge turnout in Australia over gay marriage vote – and there’s still time to vote
Sofie Wainwright/ABC | 17157
ABC have been to meet some of Australia’s gay nomads, fed up with city life who prefer to live in caravan parks and tour.
Laine Isaac is new to the group and said he felt at ease spending time with like-minded people during his travels.
“You don’t have to be closeted [with gay nomads] … you can be outspoken and discuss things,” Mr Isaac said.
“It’s very difficult when you’re sitting down at a camp with straight people to all of a sudden say, ‘Hey, I’m not quite what you think I am’.”
Lynne Hocking said the group debunked the stereotype that all LGBTI people were urban and city dwellers.
They felt more accepted in their nomadic community than they did in Australian cities.
David Crosling/AAP | 17154
Thousands of people rallied for marriage equality in Australia’s second-biggest city of Melbourne today ahead of the postal ballot on same-sex marriage.
Australia has been slow not to have legalised same-sex marriage.
Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus of the Labor Party called on the Liberal Party-led government to do more to ensure the debate did not turn ugly ahead of the postal survey next month. “I’m particularly calling on the prime minister of Australia to speak out against any bile or hate speech that we might see in this campaign,” he said.
Australians will vote over several weeks from mid-September in the advisory ballot on whether to legalise same-sex marriage, which is supported by 61 percent of Australians, according to a Gallup opinion poll in 2016.
The issue has fractured the Turnbull government and damaged his standing with voters, which is now at a six-month low.