In a bit of good news this tumultuous month, the Australian Parliament voted overwhelmingly to pass a law legalizing same-sex marriage. Becoming the 26th nation to have done so, Australia has joined dozens of nations that have enshrined the human rights of gay and lesbian couples into law.
Out of 150 politicians elected to parliament, only a few voted against the measure.
The Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull — who had supported same-sex marriage for years leading up to this week’s historic vote — praised the outcome: “
This belongs to us all. This is Australia: fair, diverse, loving and filled with respect. For every one of us this is a great day.
While the nation had laws on the books guaranteeing benefits for gay and lesbian couples, this week’s measure changes the legal definition of marriage to “the union of two people.”
The final vote found support across party lines, bringing both right and left together in a rare display of agreement. The vote followed a mail campaign through which the government deduced public support for same-sex marriage legalization. “Yes” responses carried the clear majority with 61 percent.