Final vote on same sex marriage bill looms

Division in House of Representatives paints a lonely

Australia's parliament passed a bill legalising same-sex marriage Thursday after the nation overwhelmingly voted in favour of changing the law, ending decades of political wrangling.

Same-sex marriage will become legal in Australia after a historic bill was passed in the House of Representatives.

Cheers and applause broke out as ministers voted in favor of the bill following hours of debate and emotional speeches at Parliament House in Canberra.

The Bill will be put forward to the Governor-General Peter Cosgrove for Royal Assent, which could happen at anytime up to 10 days from now.

The current bill allows churches and religious organizations to boycott gay weddings without violating Australian anti-discrimination laws.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten also spoke ahead of vote, saying: "Australia, we are going to make marriage equality a reality in minutes".

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Drafting such measures into the Australian bill would delay it, but several gay marriage opponents have told Parliament this week they would not stand in the way of marriage equality because the Australian public clearly supported it in a recent postal ballot. "At long last, LGBTIQ Australians will be equal under the law".

'To claim that there will not be a range of adverse consequences for the freedom of speech, religion and parental rights.is wrong, ' Mr Andrews said.

Australia's Senate had voted decisively in favour of the gay marriage Bill last week, reported the BBC.

"This is a day for every Australian".

What a day for love, for equality, for respect!

The House of Representatives is holding its final two-week session of the year, which is giving priority to lifting the ban on same-sex marriage in Australia. On Thursday night, Queensland MP Bob Katter, who went viral for his dismissal of gay marriage in light of fatal crocodile attacks, delivered a 15-minute speech declaring that same-sex marriage was not of interest of gay couples because heterosexual couples weren't getting married either.