Gay couples able to legally marry says Australia lawmakers

Vastavam web: Gay couples will be able to legally marry in Australia after a same-sex marriage bill sailed through parliament today, ending decades of political wrangling.There were loud cheers, hugs and sustained clapping in the 150-seat lower House of Representatives when all but four MPs voted in support of marriage equality, after the upper house Senate passed the bill 43-12 last week.The historic reforms will commence on Saturday, when same-sex couples can a lodge a notice to marry. They will then have to wait a month before tying the knot.
Labor opposition leader Bill Shorten hailed the passing of the bill as a uniting moment for Australia, adding: “Now is the time for healing”.The bill was tabled in parliament by the conservative government after Australians last month endorsed the reforms in a controversial voluntary postal vote.Nearly 80 per cent of eligible voters took part in the poll, and almost 62 per cent of the 12.7 million people who participated chose “yes” on their postal ballots.
The ballot had been called by Turnbull, a moderate who backed gay marriage, in the face of opposition from hardliners who refused to back a national plebiscite on the issue.Just under five million people voted “no”, with conservative politicians using their rejection of gay marriage as a catalyst to push for religious exemptions to be included in the bill.