Australia lawmakers approve same-sex marriage

Malcolm Turnbull talks to Leigh Sales

The attorney general, George Brandis, said marriage equality will be the "imperishable legacy" of this government under prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The Senate passed the same legislation last week 43 votes to 12.

"Thank you Australia", wrote Alex Greenwich, a gay member of the New South Wales Parliament, after the vote.

Warren Entsch hugs Malcolm Turnbull after the Parliament passed the same-sex marriage bill

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.

Fighting back tears, Liberal MP Sarah Henderson told the story Wednesday night of a close gay friend of hers who died months ago and who, in one of their last conversations, asked her to continue to push for same-sex marriage.

In the capital Canberra, applause welled up from the House gallery after the chamber on Thursday followed Australia's Senate in approving the Marriage Amendment Bill of 2017.

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Australian law says couples must wait 30 days to get married once they apply to do so.

The parliamentarians who voted in favor of same-sex marriage took time to let the jubilant moment sink in, celebrating with hugs and handshakes and proudly sporting rainbow-colored clothing.

Five lawmakers have registered their opposition to Australia's bill allowing same-sex marriage across the nation.

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"It's a historic day for Australia today and I think the celebrations around the country when we finally ... achieve marriage equality are going to be huge", Greens party senator Janet Rice said.

The House vote took place on the last sitting day of parliament for the year, with more than 100 MPs speaking on the bill this week. They were warned multiple times that parliamentary rules prohibit them from making noise and even applauding.

Almost eight out of 10 eligible voters participated in the survey, according to the government.

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"Existing civil celebrants can also refuse to officiate at gay weddings, but celebrants registered after gay marriage becomes law would not be exempt from the anti-discrimination laws".

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