Metro Weekly

WATCH: Australian Parliament erupts in celebration as marriage equality passes

Lawmakers and members of the public burst into song after historic vote to legalize same-sex marriage

Credit: Screenshot / ABC

Australia’s Parliament today voted to legalize same-sex marriage, making it the 26th nation where same-sex couples can legally wed.

The vote came after a national postal survey where Australians overwhelmingly voiced their support for marriage equality.

It was also notable for passing without any homophobic amendments from more conservative lawmakers, including discriminatory “protections” for religious freedoms.

After four days of debate — and after Senators had already approved the bill — the House of Representatives passed marriage equality. Of the 148 Members of Parliament, 136 voted in favor. It now awaits royal assent before officially becoming law.

“What a day for love, for equality, for respect. Australia has done it,” said Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. “This is Australia, fair, diverse, loving and filled with respect. For every one of us this is a great day.”

Alex Greenwich, co-convener of Australian Marriage Equality, said: “Marriage equality is finally the law of the land and we are so proud of Australia, we are so proud of the LGBTQI community, we are so proud of our Parliament for bringing together people across the political aisle, making people happy and doing something amazing.”

After it was announced that the marriage equality bill had succeeded, the Parliament erupted in celebration, with some present waving a large rainbow flag. The Parliament’s public gallery then began a chorus of “I Am Australian,” a popular anthem in the country.

There was widespread joy on social media after it was announced that Parliament had voted in favor of equality.

And for an emotional final message, here’s Australian journalist David Marr appearing on The Drum:

Congratulations, Australia!

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.