Australia

Same-sex marriage: How Australia reacted after historic bill passed

Many Australians have proudly united to share in the celebration after the Lower House passed the same-sex marriage bill without amendments.

Social media has lit up in rainbow colours as many Australians rushed to share their pride as parliament passed the same-sex marriage bill.

Actress Magda Szubanski celebrated in the minutes after by singing the song, 'Chapel of Love'.

She was dancing alongside Tony Abbott's sister and politician Christine Forster.

"This is huge, all of us would never have thought this was possible… it’s taken a long time," Szubanski, who has been a vocal champion of the marriage equality campaign, said. 

Same-sex marriage supporters gather on the lawns of Parliament House, including Ian Thorpe and Magda Szubanski, image via Christine Forster
Same-sex marriage supporters gather on the lawns of Parliament House, including Ian Thorpe and Magda Szubanski, image via Christine Forster
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"The Australian people are the ones who did it … and finally, the pollies have come through as well. Thank you Australia."

Cr Forster, who is a Liberal councillor for the City of Sydney, was just as pleased.

"Everybody played their part and everybody had their say ... the main thing was we got the right result in the end.

"What a moment for the country ... democracy has been served."

Twitter was flooded with hashtags #MarriageEquality, #SameSex, #AustraliaSaysYes and #LoveWins. 

"There's now #MarriageEquality in Australia, we did it finally. Thank you to the government for finally doing the right thing," a Twitter user named Liz wrote.

Facebook users were also quick to share their reactions to the news. 

Beri Vera was surprised parliament managed to get it done.

"So they can move quickly if they want to ... I am impressed. I did not believe it could happen before this Xmas," she wrote on the SBS News Facebook.

Tash Tovo said she "could not be prouder" of Australia.

"What a day! Could not be prouder of our country for taking a step forward… love is love," she said.

However some Australians felt the definition of marriage should not be changed.

While 61.6 per cent of Australians voted Yes on the postal survey, 38.4 responded with No. 

Independent MP Bob Katter was an open opponent to changing the law.

Parliament breaks out in song in celebration of passing the same-sex marriage bill
Parliament breaks out in song in celebration of passing the same-sex marriage bill

"Gay means beautiful, light, attractive, ethereal ... they took the word gay off us and now they are taking the word marriage off us," he said. 

Liberals David Littleproud, Keith Pitt and Russell Broadbent also voted no.

But the Australian parliament reacted with song - singing 'I Am Australian' in the minutes after the bill was passed. 

It went through unchanged, despite a push from conservative politicians for additional exemptions - including for religious organisations, civil celebrants and Defence chaplains.

 - With AAP