Same-sex marriage bill clears Australia’s Senate

By Reuters Staff

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s upper house Senate on Wednesday passed a measure to legalize same-sex marriage, perhaps as soon as next week, after lawmakers dismissed a conservative push to allow religious objectors to refuse service to same-sex couples.

Australians overwhelmingly endorsed legalizing same-sex marriage in a postal survey run by the national statistics agency and the bill easily passed the Senate by 43 votes to 12.

Conservative lawmakers had pressed for broad protections for religious objectors, among them florists, bakers and musicians, to refuse service to same-sex couples.

But amendments for lay celebrants to refuse to solemnize same-sex marriages and permitting caterers opposed to the unions to refuse service at wedding receptions were either defeated or abandoned during two days of debate in the senate, where same-sex marriage supporters are in the majority.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. First Yeah!

    Second, we just spend $120 000 000 to find out what every poll has for that last 8 years or so. The overwhelming majority of Australians want same sex couples to be allowed to marry. The postal survey is non-binding so we paid $120 000 000 for the PM to placate his back bench.

    The only upside is (aside from the government finally moving on this issue) is that I no longer have to listen to my right wing mates criticise the left in Australia for financial recklessness. I can now point to this pointless poll (that is the government should have just gotten on and done gay marriage straight away) and say I’m not listening to any of that nonsense after forcing a non-binding poll at taxpayer expense (you can only spend it once). I’ve used it twice already and it shut them up real good, I plan on getting $120 000 000 worth of mileage out of it too. Any fellow lefty pinkos from Down Under on the site may wish to take this up as well.

  2. Job done!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-42260548

    Same-sex marriage will become legal in Australia after a historic bill was passed in the House of Representatives.

    An overwhelming majority of MPs voted to change the Marriage Act, eight days after a similarly decisive result in the Senate.

    The vote set off immediate celebrations in parliament, prompting cheers, applause and even a song.

    The result brings an end to more than a decade of robust and often bitter debate on the issue.

    “What a day for love, for equality, for respect,” said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

    “Australia has done it.”

    The legislation sailed through parliament without amendments after Australians overwhelmingly supported the reform in a voluntary national poll.

    Australia’s governor-general is expected to approve the bill in the coming days, marking its official passage into law.

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