UPDATE at 1:00 PM | THE bill to legalise same-sex marriage in Australia has passed the Senate 43 votes to 12 in what will go down as a momentous day in the country’s history.
The bill, introduced by Liberal Senator Dean Smith, will now go to the House of Representatives for a final vote next week, paving the way for gay marriage to be legalised before Christmas.
The bill was co-sponsored by eight other senators from Labor, Greens, NXT, and Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party.
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Mr Smith said the death of Tori Johnson in the terrorist attack at the Lindt Cafe in Sydney had changed him and influenced his support for same-sex marriage.
“Tori lost his life in the Lindt terrorist siege. He was brave, he was courageous and he had a partner named Thomas,” Mr Smith said.
“I thought of their loss and it changed me. I realised that people with real lives deserve their love to be blessed and affirmed by the institution of marriage if they so choose.”
Amendments to the bill from Conservative Liberal MPs, Liberal Democrats senator David Leyonhjelm, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and the Greens were all defeated.
.@DeanSmithWA says the SSM bill passing in the senate is a demonstration that working collectively across the chamber delivers fantastic outcomes. MORE: https://t.co/aeuZlya122 pic.twitter.com/3eCJ6Gl7zA
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) November 29, 2017
— ABC News (@abcnews) November 29, 2017
EARLIER at 7:17 AM | Debate has raged well into the night, but same-sex marriage legislation has moved a step closer.
For the first time in Australian history, and two weeks after the release of the result from the plebiscite, the Senate effectively passed a same-sex marriage bill late on Tuesday.
Every amendment from Coalition senators, including a proposal to allow civil celebrants to refuse to perform gay weddings, was defeated.
It means a final vote on the change to the law could come as soon as Wednesday.
However, its move into the House of Representatives will need to wait until next week, because of the Turnbull government’s decision to cancel this week’s session.