Same sex marriage will become legal in Australia after a historic bill was passed in the House of Representatives. An overwhelming majority of MPs voted to change the Marriage Act, eight days after a similarly decisive result in the Senate.
The vote set off immediate celebrations in parliament, prompting cheers, applause and even a song. The result brings an end to more than a decade of robust and often bitter debate on the issue.
Many same-sex marriage supporters travelled to Canberra to witness the outcome in the lower house. The legislation sailed through parliament without amendments after Australians overwhelmingly supported the reform in a voluntary national poll.
Australia’s governor-general is expected to approve the bill in the coming days, marking its official passage into law. Emotional MPs hugged each other before supporters in the public gallery began singing “I am, you are, we are Australian”.
More than 100 MPs had spoken on the legislation after it was tabled in the House of Representatives.