Australian Parliament OKs same-sex marriage

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Many supporters of the Bill travelled to Canberra to witness the outcome of the parliamentary process.

Only four MPs voted against the bill, with cheers, applause, tears and the waving of rainbow flags in the public gallery as the final vote was conducted.

It follows years of campaigning from the Australian LGBTIQ community and dozens of failed attempts to change the law.

Wedding bells are set to ring for same sex couples, with Parliament this afternoon passing the bill to legalise same sex marriage in Australia.

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Among them was Christine Forster, the gay sister of Tony Abbott, the former Australian Prime Minister who has always been seen as the face of the "no" campaign.

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

The House of Representatives is widely expected to vote to allow same-sex marriage across the nation. And I said to LGBTIQ Australians in particular, you have given us a gift.

The government has appointed a panel to examine how to safeguard religious freedoms once gay marriage was a reality in Australia.

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All amendments were struck down and the bill has passed unchanged from the one that cleared the Senate last week. "The Parliament has got on with it and we have voted today for a equality, for love, it is time for more marriages, more commitment, more love, more respect, and we respect every Australian who was voted, those who voted yes, and those who voted no, this belongs to us all, this is Australia!"

"The bill which the Senate passed is a robust bill, a whole range of religious protections are already in place", Entsch said in introducing the bill.

Linda Burney, who took leave after a family tragedy, on Tuesday gave a speech in support of gay marriage, paying tribute to her son Binni, who took his own life at the end of October.

Gay marriage was endorsed by 62 percent of Australian voters who responded to a government-commissioned postal ballot last month.

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