Local News

House of Representatives votes YES to marriage equality

It’s now just days from being set in stone.

By Kate Wagner

It’s been a long three weeks since the marriage postal survey results were published. Hell, in the words of Senator Penny Wong, it’s been a long decade.

But we’ve (almost) done it, Australia! Reflecting the resounding yes of the Australian public in the postal survey, the House of Representatives have voted 63 - 79 in favour of marriage equality.

There were so many people on the yes side, politicians were standing up behind chairs.

WATCH: The beautiful reactions at the postal survey results announcement.

Despite being delayed a week (thanks to House of Reps having an extra-long holiday), the bill was passed with no substantiative amendments, much like days earlier in the Senate.

The bill will now be given “royal assent” by Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove. If he ratifies the law this week, Malcolm Turnbull’s assertion it would be done by Christmas would come true.

Can LGBTIQ people now get married in Australia?

Not quite yet. In Australia, there needs to be a month’s notice of intent to marry so the earliest same-sex wedding ceremonies will be in January 2018.

Last night, Government MP Sarah Henderson gave an emotional speech on just how important this bill was to her.

She paid tribute to a "very dear friend", John Parker, who died "very tragically a number of months ago".

"In one of the last conversations I had with him he just said to me 'Hendo, just bloody well get on with it okay?'.

"And I say to JP, my dear, beloved friend who I miss so dearly: JP, that's what we are doing."

Marriage equality advocates have been staked out front of Parliament House since 7am this morning, including comedian Magda Szubanski and Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe.

"We were so ashamed," Magda told BuzzFeed News. "When I was young, being gay meant a life of torment and torture and shame. The idea you would ever find happiness and love, and that that love would be celebrated by the entire nation, it was inconceivable.

"And we made the inconceivable real. With everything being against us, we had the strength to continue to be who we are. And people in various degrees of outness — everyone does it in their own way, in their own time — but we’ve all got us here to this point. And God bless bloody Australia!”