To allow the same-sex marriage, the Australian Parliament voted for same-sex marriage bill with majority, following a bitter and divisive debate settled by the government polling voters in a much-criticised ballot survey that strongly endorsed the change.
With this passage of the bill, the definition of marriage has from solely between a woman and a man to “a union of two people” excluding all others. It will also make the same sex marriage a legal right for its citizen.
The bill passed with a majority that wasn’t challenged, although 5-members registered their opposition to the bill.
It is noteworthy to know that the Senate had approved the same bill last week with 43 votes in favour and 12 votes in against. After royal consent and other formalities, the law will likely to come into effect in about a month, with the first weddings expected about a month later.
German Parliament approves same-sex marriage
Freedom of speech
The same-sex marriage bill will protect freedoms of speech and religion for gay-marriage opponents were all rejected, though those issues may be considered later.
The government has appointed a committee to study how to protect religious freedoms once gay wedding is a reality in Australia.
The same-sex marriage bill allows religious organizations like churches and others to boycott gay marriage without violating Australian anti-discrimination laws.
Australia initiated a national postal survey in November which mandated an amendment to the marriage definition.
Gay marriage was approved by 62% of Australian voters who participated in the government-commissioned postal ballot.
However, the U.N. Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) had called the ballot survey “an unnecessary and divisive public opinion poll.”