Australian Parliament legalizes gay marriage after long battle.

Screengrab via ABC News (Australia)/YouTube

Australia legalizes gay marriage—and Parliament bursts into song

Australians joined in the celebration, hugging, singing, and crying.


Ana Valens

Internet Culture

After years of conservative pushback, the Australian Parliament legalized gay marriage on Thursday.

“This belongs to us all,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull proudly said, the New York Times reports. “This is Australia: fair, diverse, loving, and filled with respect. For every one of us this is a great day.”

Australia has faced a long and sordid battle to legalizing gay marriage, as members of Parliament tried 22 times since 2004 to reverse a same-sex marriage ban. In November, a postal survey revealed that the majority of Australians support gay marriage, forcing Parliament’s hand to finally pass a same-sex marriage bill. And in a stunning act of bipartisan support, only four lawmakers voted against it.

The LGBTQ rights win was certainly was a cause for celebration on the House floor. After the bill officially passed, the entire chamber erupted in applause. Onlookers clapped from the gallery as politicians cried and hugged one another, with a huge rainbow flag behind them. Soon, the public joined in to sing “I Am Australian” by Bruce Woodley and Dobe Newton.

Of course, the vote quickly went viral, with many celebrating the response in the House.

And some brought up that bigoted Australian couple who promised to divorce each other if gay marriage passed. Looks like they have some paperwork to file.

But others took the moment to point out that not every activist lived to see the vote. Some died fighting for the right to be who they are.

Australia may have legalized gay marriage, but the fight for LGBTQ equality rages on. Homophobia still remains rampant in the country, like when the Australia Post accidentally sent out an anti-LGBTQ flyer. As with most legal victories, the country’s culture still has to change before the entire nation can reach true equality for queer Australians.

H/T PinkNews

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