After Australians overwhelmingly voted yes for gay marriage in a postal survey, the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull vowed that parliament will move to legalize before Christmas. And looks like he is true to his word because Australia has just become the 26th country in the world to ratify same-sex marriage!
On Thursday, Australia's lower house passed a cross-party bill which already cleared the upper house a week earlier. Almost all members of the ruling coalition voted yes with only four MPs voting no.
In a resounding speech after the votes have been counted and the bill passed, Turnbull told the lower house and the people of his country that “Australia has done it - every Australian had their say, and they said ‘it’s fair, get on with it’.” and then he added “We’ve voted today for equality, for love, it’s time for more marriages, more commitment, more love, more respect, This is Australia: fair, diverse, loving and filled with respect.”
George Brandis, Australia's Attorney General said that starting December 9, couples can now register “to lodge a notice of intended marriage” which will then lead to official marriages as early as January 9, a month after the notice.
Turnbull delivered the bill to the Governor-general, the representative of Queen Elizabeth II who is Australia's Head of State. With the bill signed, it officially became law on midnight December 8th.
The first couples have already started pouring into registries of Birth, Marriages, and Deaths to file their intention to marry. “It was really happy this morning when people were in here, but this place is a really happy place on the weekend generally anyhow because we’re performing marriages,” New South Wales registrar Amanda Ianna said when describing the atmosphere in her office on December 9th.