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Same-sex marriage debate starts in Senate
16 November 2017, 01:38 | Bernice Figueroa
Australia has followed Ireland in voting on same-sex marriage
But the law can not actually be changed until the House of Representatives reconvenes for parliament's final sitting fortnight, which begins on November 27. "The polls said that Brexit wouldn't happen, the polls said that Hillary would win and I sort of thought this felt like Australia's time to show everyone that we're backward too", Winter was quoted by The Associated Press as saying.
But even ahead of the release of the results, conservative politicians inside the Australian parliament were preparing for a fight over how marriage equality would be legalized.
Thousands of people in a Sydney park broke into a loud cheer, hugged and cried as Australia's chief statistician revealed live over a big screen that 61.6 percent of voters surveyed favoured marriage equality, with 38.4 percent against.
"Australians have voted yes for fairness, they have voted yes for commitment, they have voted yes for love". Around three-quarters of the electorate - more than 12.6 million people - took part.
As NPR's Bill Chappell wrote in August, "During last year's election, Turnbull had vowed to let the people decide the issue; his Labor Party opponent had promised to introduce same-sex marriage legislation in Parliament".
Celebs from across the world have taken to social media to celebrate the result.
Mr Andrews made the comments while arguing the Smith bill would allow bakers to refuse serving same-sex couples for a wedding if they were against same-sex marriage.
But he must first battle hardline elements within his own ruling coalition who have demanded extensive "religious freedom" exemptions that would roll back discrimination laws. "Parliament still has to pass Australia's unequivocal mandate for equality into law".
Conservative opponents vowed before this morning's result was announced to pursue their campaign for exemptions from the eventual legalisation of gay marriage, which they say will lead to attacks on their freedoms of speech and religion.
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