It was an overwhelming victory. Last week, the Australian Senate passed the law that allows same-sex couples to marry by a 43-12 vote. And Thursday, the House of Representatives legalized marriage equality with only four votes against the bill. Applause echoed through the House after the vote.
Now marriage will be defined as "a union of two people."
The amendments protecting freedoms of speech and religion were all rejected. These issues could be discussed later according to The New Zealand Herald.
The government has appointed a panel to examine how to safeguard religious freedoms once marriage equality is a reality, starting in January.
The first same-sex weddings will begin in a month. It's necessary for Australian couples to give a full month's notice when they intend to get married.
There has been a lot of positive feedback as you can imagine. I would quote Penny Wrong, an openly lesbian senator, who simply said: "I am feeling happy."
It's also our feeling. We are so happy for you in Australia. I can tell you that there was a lot of emotion in the team when we heard the good news.
It was long, it was hard, but you did it after 22 attempts in Parliament since 2004. Congratulations !!!