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Australian Parliament OKs same-sex marriage

Australian Parliament OKs same-sex marriage

Not all speeches backed gay marriage, however.

More than 100 MPs spoke on the legislation after it was tabled in the House of Representatives.

All amendments were struck down, and the bill passed unchanged from the one that cleared the Senate last week.

Government Leader in the House Christopher Pyne apologized to gay marriage supporters in the public gallery who had travelled to Canberra that the issue was not resolved after four hours of debate.

Before the vote was to be finalised later on Thursday, the House of Representatives was set to debate a number of proposed conservative amendments that were expected to be voted down, according to BuzzFeed News.

Turnbull told Parliament that while nothing in the bill threatened religious freedoms, he wanted more reassurances for the millions of Australians who oppose marriage equality.

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"The bill which the Senate passed is a robust bill, a whole range of religious protections are already in place", Entsch said in introducing the bill.

Gay marriage was endorsed by 62 percent of Australian voters who responded to a government-commissioned postal ballot last month. "The question though is we need to get the balances right in terms of the protections of those people who have fundamental beliefs based on religion or otherwise", he added.

While marriage equality could become law this week, state marriage registries have said they could not proceed with weddings until January due to paperwork.

Most gay marriage opponents accept that the Parliament has an overwhelming mandate to make the change.

Australia's Parliament would legalize gay marriage this week despite some lawmakers' concerns about whether Australian cake makers should have to cater for same-sex weddings, a leading opponent of marriage equality said on Wednesday.


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