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australian parliament oks same-sex marriage

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australian parliament oks same-sex marriage

the australian parliament has voted to allow same-sex marriage across the nation, following a bitter and divisive debate settled by the government polling voters in a much-criticized ballot survey that strongly endorsed change.the house of representatives passed the bill to change the definition of marriage from solely between a man and a man to "a union of two people." the votes were not counted because the majority wasn't questioned.the senate passed the same legislation last week 43 votes to 12. after royal assent and other formalities, the law will likely take effect in about a month, with the first weddings expected about a month later.amendments meant to safeguard freedoms of speech and religion for gay-marriage opponents were all rejected, though those issues may be considered later."it's an historic day for australia today and i think the celebrations around the country when we finally ... achieve marriage equality are going to be immense," janet rice said.rice is a minor greens party senator who was only able to remain married to her transgender wife of 31 years, penny, because penny remained listed as male on her birth certificate.penny wong, an opposition labor party senator who has two children with her lesbian partner, said: "i am feeling happy."gay rights advocates applauded from the public gallery on thursday as amendment after amendment was voted down.gay marriage was endorsed by 62 percent of australian voters who responded to a government-commissione...