Canberra, November 29: In a remarkable decision, Australia gave a nod to legalize ‘same-sex marriage’. The Senate House was filled up with emotions and joy which welcomed the move overwhelmingly. ‘Marriage-equality’ will be the “imperishable legacy” of Turnbull government, George Brandis said in an emotional speech announcing the historic social reform as ‘final act of acceptance and embrace’ for LGBTI Australians.
Conservative lawmakers objected the moving bill over religious objectors, among them florists, bakers and musicians, to refuse service to same-sex couples.
"The Australian people voted to lessen discrimination, not to extend it and we, the senate, have respected that vote by rejecting amendments which sought to extend discrimination, or derail marriage equality," Labor Senator Penny Wong, who voted down all the amendments, told Parliament.
The bill moves to the lower house next week, where conservative lawmakers hope for a renewed push to add measures exempting objectors to same-sex marriage from existing laws against discrimination.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's Liberal-National coalition government and the main opposition Labor Party have said they wanted to pass the law through parliament by Dec. 7. If the legislation passes as expected, Australia will become the 26th nation to legalize same-sex marriage, a watershed for a country where some states held homosexual activity illegal until 1997.
Attorney-General George Brandis has hailed progress on legalising same-sex marriage as a shining moment in Australian history. All five amendments put forward by conservative senators James Paterson and David Fawcett to their Liberal colleague Dean Smith's private bill were defeated on Tuesday. 'At last, Australia will no longer be insulting gay people by saying different rules apply to you,' Senator Brandis added.