Same-sex marriage bill passes Senate

Casey Dawson
November 30, 2017

Though we're yet to face the final hurdle, politicians from both sides - including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull - have said same-sex marriage is likely to be made legal by Christmas.

On the same day, Liberal Party Senator Dean Smith introduced his Consensus Marriage Equality Bill into the Senate.

A majority of Australians who participated in the voluntary plebiscite on same-sex marriage voted "yes" in favour of changing marriage laws, with 61.6 per cent calling for change. Your love is not lesser, and nor are you.

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'It says to so many Australians, this parliament, this country, accepts you for who you are, ' she said.

The Tasmanian senator said that it should be remembered that religious rights are part of Australia's global obligations, while same sex marriage was not.

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Australia recently held a national non-binding postal survey that asked eligible voters if they agreed that the "law should be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry".

Earlier, at a doorstop on Wednesday the attorney general, George Brandis, said the Senate debate had been "very thorough" but hisdefeated amendments to declare that religious freedom was not harmed by the bill and to allow civil celebrants to refuse weddings should be considered in the lower house.

Smith, who is gay, explained how he had opposed marriage equality until the death of Tori Johnson, a gay man who was killed in the 2014 Sydney hostage crisis. "He was fearless, he was courageous, and he had a partner named Thomas". "I realised that people with real lives deserved their love to be blessed and affirmed by the institution of marriage if they so choose".

Greens leader Richard Di Natale said that steps to progress marriage equality, specifically the national same-sex marriage survey, had been cause for "so much grief and despair" in recent months. "The more the debate was resisted, the more the strength was found to fight for it", he said. "You are just you", he said on Tuesday, when the main debate took place.

"We would like to see protections for freedom of speech, the freedom of religious schools to teach and act out their beliefs about marriage", he said.

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