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Same-sex marriage legislation passes Senate

The bill to legalise same-sex marriage has passed the Senate, and will be debated in the Lower House next week.

The same-sex marriage bill has passed the Senate with no amendments. 43 senators voted yes and 12 voted no.

The bill will be debated in the Lower House next week. Same-sex marriage is on track to be legalised by Christmas.

Liberal senator Dean Smith told his fellow Senators before the vote that, while it had been a difficult journey to get to this point, the debate had been “good for the soul” of the nation.

“It has been good for the soul of this chamber and it will be good for the souls of LGBTI children throughout our great country.”

“We have seen the LGBTI community move from rejection to tolerance, tolerance to acceptance and now acceptance to embrace. We should be proud of that. I certainly am,” Senator Smith said.

“We should not fear conscience. The more the debate was resisted, the more the strength was found to fight for it.”

“At some later point, we should reflect on how we can avoid that tortured process from ever having to happen again,” he added.

An emotional Penny Wong said, “Today we stand on the cusp of a remarkable achievement and an historic event, and we pause briefly to reflect, just for a moment, on what we are a part of.

“We are part of an act of acceptance, an act of inclusion, an act of respect, an act of celebration — a day when this Senate declares our acceptance of our LGBTIQ brothers and sisters.”

The senators who voted against the bill were were Eric Abetz, Fraser Anning, Cory Bernardi, Slade Brockman, Brian Burston, Matt Canavan, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Lucy Gichuhi, Chris Ketter, Barry O’Sullivan, Helen Polley, and John Williams.

Senators Bridget McKenzie, James McGrath and Pauline Hanson were in the chamber but did not vote.

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