A historical hurdle was finally achieved in the land down under when a bill to legalize same-sex marriage passed in the Senate on Wednesday. The victory set up a final vote in the House of Representatives next week but judging by the landslide in the Senate the bill will likely pass in the House as well.
<img src="https://media.8ch.net/file_store/837f7b78f08592844c7b5bc768679c45cb1ebf0e3bd88d7206aaa6ee0269a84c.jpg" style="max-height:640px;max-width:360px;">
<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: Andrew Meares</span>
The bill passed with ease in the Senate with 43 votes for and 12 against and the moment it passed was met with a standing ovation in the packed public and parliamentary galleries which echoed the thunderous applause. Senators from several parties hugged each other and cried for joy while some declared it the proudest day in their political careers.
Liberal senator Dean Smith said after the bill passed, "This is the Senate's day. This is a demonstration that working across the chamber … does deliver not just good outcomes but fantastic outcomes." Even Attorney-General George Brandis declared his pride saying he was "so proud of Australian democracy today, more proud than I have ever been."
The bill will now head to the House of Representatives where it will face the final vote. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull canceled this week's chamber meeting to wait for the Senate to finish debating the same-sex marriage bill. It was originally expected to take until Thursday to resolve the vote in the Senate.
Penny Wong is the Labor Senate leader who is herself gay and fought for years within Labor to change the countries position on same-sex marriage. Wong called the victory a day of "great celebration for so many people across this country."
The first openly gay Liberal MP, Senator Smith, also helped bring about the change within the Coalition and sponsored the final bill that passed through the chamber virtually unchanged. Senator Smith said, "We have seen in this debate how our Parliament is meant to work. The real question out of this debate is why isn't our Parliament like this more often?"
Many senators chose to abstain, including Employment Minister Zed Seselja and One Nation leader Pauline Hanson. Among those who voted against the same-sex marriage bill include Resources Minister Matt Canavan, International Development Minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, and Labor senators Chris Ketter and Helen Polley.
In case you're wondering how each Senator voted, here is a list of the Senators and how they voted:
Scott Ryan Dean Smith
Richard Di Natale
DID NOT VOTE
Michaelia Cash (abstained)
David Fawcett (abstained)
James McGrath (abstained)
Zed Seselja (abstained)
Arthur Sinodinos (on leave)
Bridget McKenzie (abstained)
Jacinta Collins (paired with Gavin Marshall)
Sam Dastyari (attending funeral)
Pat Dodson (leave)
Don Farrell (attending funeral)
Alex Gallacher (attending funeral)
Katy Gallagher (leave)
Gavin Marshall (overseas)
Deb O'Neill (abstain)
Glenn Sterle (attending funeral)
Pauline Hanson (abstained)
Peter Georgiou (abstained)
Tips? Info? Send me a message!