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Australia legalizes marriage equality in historic vote

08 December 2017

An Australian Christian couple that vowed to get divorced if the country voted to legalize same-sex marriage is now backing down from their threat.

The Bill passed the senate last week, before moving to the lower house on Monday.

Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, gave an emotional speech as he declared: "What a day for love, for quality, for respect". It was a heartwarming moment as Wilson tearfully recounted how his partner had endured the many years of the struggle for marriage equality, before asking him to marry him.

Additionally, the passing of the same-sex marriage law will be a strategic political win for Turnbull, who has been strongly opposed by his predecessor Tony Abbott, a staunch supporter of conventional marriage.

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The Australian Parliament voted 146 to 4 in support of same-sex marriage. The Senate had passed the same legislation last week.

The Jensens first said they'd get divorced if same-sex couples could get married back in 2015.

"This is a day for every Australian".

"Do we want today to be a day of unity, or do we want today to be a day of division?" . Nearly 80 percent of Australia's registered voters took part in the two-month survey.

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Prominent LGBTI Australians including the swimming stars Ian Thorpe and Daniel Kowalski, the actor Magda Szubanski and the campaigner Kerry Phelps descended on the nation's capital, Canberra, to celebrate the final legislative victory that has followed years of activism and a three-month community campaign by the Equality Campaign.

A short time later, he tweeted: "Out of respect for the millions of Australians who take religious freedom seriously, I moved my amendment, out of respect for the millions who want the SSM bill swiftly passed I chose not to divide on it".

Australia is the 25th country in the world to have marriage equality for same-sex couples.

"Some individuals who entered into marriage in their previous sex or gender are faced with a choice between divorcing their spouse in order to obtain records reflecting their gender identity, or not having these records", the bill's explanatory memorandum notes.

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Australia legalizes marriage equality in historic vote