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Same-sex marriage now allowed in Australia, 1st wedding likely in February

Same-sex marriage bill looks set to pass Parliament

Australia's House of Representatives has voted overwhelmingly in favour of same-sex marriage, passing a historic Bill on Thursday (Dec 7) that drew broad cross-party support.

Majority of MPs voted yes to the bill in a bid of changing the Marriage Act, eight days after a similarly decisive result in the Senate.

"What a day for equality, for love and respect", Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said after the decision was delivered.

"What a day for love, for equality, for respect!"

"They voted yes for fairness, yes for commitment, yes for love".

On Facebook, Chrisetnsen lamented that the House "voted to not allow civil celebrants - even those who are pastors - to exempt themselves from having to perform marriages for same sex couples".

The Bill was opposed by only four members.

Bindi Irwin and Hugh Sheridan were among the stars celebrating passage of same-sex marriage.

The legislation was brought to parliament through the upper house, following a non-compulsory, non-binding postal survey in which 61.6 per cent of people voted Yes.

If any of the amendments were successful, the Bill would have to go back to the Senate. Leading "no" campaigner Lyle Shelton said it was "deeply disappointing" day.

Tracy Clark and her partner Justyna Greinart embrace as they gather with a crowd of people to watch a large television screen at Federation Square as it is announced that same-sex marriage will be legal in Australia with Parliament agreeing to change the Marriage Act and end the ban on gay and lesbian couples marrying on December 7, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. He turned to the public gallery, where Bolger was sitting.

Several parliamentarians who supported the changes wore rainbow-coloured socks or ties, including Warren Entsch, described in local media as a "fiercely heterosexual... crocodile-farming, bull-catching Liberal".

"This bill will take from no-one; it simply makes our nation a kinder and a fairer place", Entsch told parliament this week. "My wife and I, as a matter of conscience, refuse to recognize the government's regulation of marriage if its definition includes the solemnization of same sex couples". It was most recently authorised on Tuesday by Austria's top court by 2019 at the latest.