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Love is Love: Marriage Equality Law Passes in Australia

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About bloody time.

The vote came in the House of Representatives a few minutes before 6pm on Thursday. After a national survey that was emotionally exhausting, the marriage equality bill has passed both houses of Parliament with a huge backing from its members.

The moment the vote was declared, despite the four members who opposed the bill being passed, the gallery was a celebration of cheers and applause. Rainbow flags, tears and joy were everywhere. A chorus of “We Are Australian” was sung. It’s been a long road, and the destination has finally be reached.

MP Warren Entsch embraces MP Linda Burney. Source: SMH.

It’s been thirteen years since the Marriage Act was changed to exclude same-sex couples from marrying. The redefinition of the law now allows these couples the same legal status as heterosexual couples.

The bill will become law shortly after the Governor-General ratifies the bill, which has been reported by Fairfax Media has been called for today. Attorney-General George Brandis has advised the law would potentially change on Saturday. We’ll also start seeing weddings taking place in January as it you are required to give a month’s notice before marrying in Australia.

MPs Trent Zimmerman and Warren Entsch looking damn happy. Source: ABC.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said after the vote:

“[I’m] so proud that this has occurred while I am Prime Minister while the Liberal and National parties are in Government.

“It is a great moment in our history, a great moment in our political history.”

How did the Australian people react to the news?

Twitter exploded with love and rainbows as the hashtag #MarriageEquality started trending.

 

What does this mean for Australia?

While same-sex couples will now received the same legal rights, we can’t forget the trauma of the postal survey, the attacks on LGBTQI+ people and the feelings of vulnerability and fear. Not only that, but Australia hasn’t quite caught up on how modern families function, and some are still under the belief same-sex attraction can be ‘cured’. These sorts of opinions and beliefs will remain in Australian society despite the changes to the Marriage Act, and the LGBTQI+ community will need continuous support.

However, there are many good things to come from this historic day. The wedding industry will be booming. Celebrations of love will be everywhere. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to marry the person you love. Thursday was an incredible day for all LGBTQI+ people of Australia, and for a long time, their place in Australian society will no longer be challenged by law.