Marriage equality supporters gather in front of Parliament House in Canberra, Australia.
Marriage equality supporters gather in front of Parliament House in Canberra, Australia.
Image: SEAN DAVEY/AFP/Getty Images

It was left to the last minute, but marriage equality is finally legal in Australia.

The country’s federal parliament passed legislation allowing LGBTQ couples to marry on Thursday, the last day for politicians to decide on laws like this before the summer break.

Marriage equality supporters gathered in front of Parliament House in Australia’s capital, Canberra, to be there for the historic decision.

Although Australians voted overwhelmingly for marriage equality in mid-November, there had been a push by conservative politicians for amendments to the bill that claim to protect religious freedoms.

The amendments allow civil celebrants to reject weddings of LGBTQ couples and allow people to speak out about their view of marriage without fear of legal repercussions. These have been labelled as “superfluous” by conservative politician Christopher Pyne, who said he would vote against the amendments.

However, the bill passed without any of the proposed amendments in a landslide vote for yes. There were fewer than five MPs who opposed the vote.

Now it’s off to the Governor-General for royal assent. Then, 28 days after royal assent, same-sex marriage will officially be legal in Australia.

Better start planning those weddings.

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