AUSTRALIA: Same-Sex Marriage Bill Signed Into Law, Weddings To Commence In 30 Days [VIDEO]

The Associated Press reports:

Australia’s prime minister rushed gay marriage into law on Friday by gaining a final signature on a bill hours after it was overwhelming endorsed by Parliament and as the nation started planning weddings that can take place in a month.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull traveled to Government House where Governor-General Peter Cosgrove signed the bill into law on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II, Australia’s constitutional head of state.

Cosgrove’s signature makes gay marriage legal in Australia from Saturday, when same-sex couples who wed overseas will be recognized as married under Australian law. Couples who intend to marry must give a calendar-month notice, making gay weddings legal on Jan. 9, Turnbull said.

More from ABC News:

At least 10 Government MPs chose to abstain from Thursday’s final conscience vote on same-sex marriage in the House of Representatives.

In the end there was no official record of the overwhelming support for the bill, because the Government benches were overflowing with Coalition, Labor and crossbench supporters. Only four MPs voted no — the Coalition’s Russell Broadbent, Keith Pitt and David Littleproud, and crossbencher Bob Katter.

According to the standing orders, if fewer than five people oppose a bill, it passes “on the voices” and the names of those who backed it are not officially recorded. However, a number of staunch opponents of the same-sex marriage bill were notably absent during the vote.

Among those abstaining was former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who has twice traveled to the US to address the viciously anti-LGBT hate group Alliance Defending Freedom.

    • Nicole

      Google is paying 97$ per hour,with weekly payouts.You can also avail this.
      On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $11752 this last four weeks..with-out any doubt it’s the most-comfortable job I have ever done .. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
      !da168:
      ➽➽
      ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleInternetComunityServiceWorkFromHome/online/easytasks ★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫:::::!da168luuuuu

  • Rex

    Every time a same sex couple gets married a Unicorn gets it’s wings.

  • Good onya, now hit the turps.

  • Kevin Andrews

    Congratulations Australia for bringing your nation (kicking and screaming as the Christ-O-Fascists discover their rejection) into the 21st Century.
    Let freedom ring. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9bd4396d693c78be788db841545f2b41a8107df31a8936d2145da808056e6bbf.png

  • JoeMyGod

    The Australian song MUST be accompanied by New Zealand’s.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DW4DXOAXF8U&t=162s

    • S1AMER

      The Kiwis beat the Aussies by years! And bravo to them! (And I’ll bet more than a few New Zealanders are chiding their larger neighbors for being so late to the party!)

      (But, I still wish we Americans lived in a country where great majorities of our national legislature had voted for marriage equality, instead of leaving it all to a national court that will within a few more years be stacked by jurists likely to take away at least some of our rights.)

      • Robert Pierce

        Ours past overwhelmingly in the UK Parliament in 2013. The Upper Chamber (The Lords) actually didn’t vote but passed it by mere acclamation which doesn’t happen often in the legislative process. You’re right though, it’s the job of legislatures to pass laws as the people’s representatives.

    • Jim Gallagher-Barker

      The look on the face of the NZ MP in the rainbow coat when she looks up at the gallery singing is everything.

    • GanymedeRenard
    • Regan DuCasse

      The pokarekare ana is lovely. It was sung so beautifully at this moment. Moving beyond belief.

  • Butch

    Exsqueeze me, but what’s this “rushed” nonsense about in the news story? Is he supposed to observe a suitable period of mourning or something?

    • Treant

      The country didn’t validate his feelings and he needs a mental health day. He’d also like to speak to somebody in HR because his constituents didn’t make him feel important and needed.

    • Edmund Allin

      I believe the rush was to get the G-G’s assent.

      • billbear1961

        Ahem, Her Majesty’s Assent through the GG.

    • GlennF

      It”s the ASSociated Press that used that term. The AP has long had a conservative bias.

      • Butch

        I hope it’s clear my comment was directed at the language of the news story – the term makes it sound like something shady happened.

  • gaycuckhubby

    Yay!
    I can’t express how much marriage has meant to me personally and I think to our community as a whole

  • billbear1961

    I reported on this early this morning, on yesterday’s last story of the day, after consulting Wikipedia:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recognition_of_same-sex_unions_in_Australia

    Long live Australia!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACI71gtbIek

    http://slc-atlanta.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/27251776_l.jpg

  • another_steve

    I’m very happy for my Aussie sisters and brothers.

    Man and I traveled in Australia in 2002 for the Sydney Gay Games. Australia is quite a schlep from the states but we were determined and we did it. What a lovely and welcoming people the vast majority of Australians are.

    Happiness to all of you, there.

  • S1AMER

    I’m so happy for Australia! And also this week: Austria! (“Aus” week!)

    But it’s so sad knowing that, here in America, we’ll probably be moving backwards, with homophobes being given license to discriminate by hiding behind Jesus’ skirts.

    We can still save at least something of America if we do our damnedest to drive Republicans out of office, starting next November and continuing ever after. We can — we must — work harder, volunteer more, give up some insignificant expenses so we can contribute more, persuade everyone we know, and in any and every other way win elections!

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    Next – The World !!

    • FAEN

      Hope so!

  • Jean-Marc in Canada
    • David Walker

      We are one, but we are many
      And from all the lands on earth we come
      We’ll share a dream and sing with one voice
      “I am, you are, we are Australian”

      The US is what happens when “E pluribus unum” is replaced by “In god we trust.” The US is what happens when we forget our history. The US is what happens when one group decides it has to be better than another group. The US would do well to take the Australian song to heart. We let “This land is your land” be replaced “God bless the USA.” It’s sad knowing I have more days behind me than ahead of me; it’s sad to know I’ll probably never hear or see “E pluribus unum” be embraced again. It’s sorrowing to see this country disappear and not see the people rise against the greed, corruption, lawlessness, hate, animosity, the lack of truth and the tolerance of lies, the animosity that has become our government(s). Please make the old fart proud of us all. Fight to regain what we almost were. Please.

      • GanymedeRenard

        Well said!

        • David Walker

          Thank you.

  • Ninja0980

    Hooray!

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Totally O/T but it’s just too funny….

    https://twitter.com/joncoopertweets/status/939142141204451334

    • Cackalaquiano

      Republicans are so technologically challenged that they’d never understand the joke.

  • joeyj1220
    • unclemike

      I also love the kid’s hands coming into frame at the last moment with his/her middle fingers extended. LOL

  • FAEN

    YAAAASSSSSSSS QUEENS!

    🇦🇺🏳️‍🌈❤️😍

  • Elagabalus

    Meanwhile, Andrew Sullivan is saying homophobic bakers should be allowed to refuse service to gay couples:

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/12/andrew-sullivan-let-him-have-his-cake.html#comments

    • Boreal

      He’s a POS so I’m not surprised.

    • FAEN

      It’s Andrew Sullivan-that pathetic LCR has never dealt with his self loathing. Plus since he lives in a city he doesn’t have to worry about gay men and women who live in areas where there may be only 1 store.

      As usual with the republican-he has his so fuck everyone else.

      • Nax

        Same sex wedding last summer here in small town Michigan (where doctors don’t even have to see the children of same sex couples), the out-of-her-kitchen baker was laid up, so they tried the one bakery in town that does wedding cakes, but they didn’t want to do it. So, they got a sheet cake from the grocery store which has always been accommodating, and is actually pretty good.

    • Phillip in L.A.

      Andrew who?

  • GayOldLady

    That made my day! Congrats to our Sisters and Brothers down under. We know how you feel and just how important Equality is to you. The fight isn’t over. Stay strong, stay resolute. LOVE WINS!

  • mikeinftl

    Yay Australia!

  • Hue-Man
    • Reality.Bites

      Liberals choose the most awesome Governors-General!

      January 5, 2001

      Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson

      Governor General of Canada

      and His Excellency John Ralston Saul

      I am writing privately, outside of the media glare, to invite you to my wedding, scheduled for January 14th, 2001, at 2:00 p.m. at the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, 115 Simpson Avenue (www.mcctoronto.com). I am seeking to have my marriage to my same-sex spouse Joe Varnell registered as any other married couple can do with their license.

      As a citizen, I am looking for leaders and representatives who will defend our right to marriage and to do so in a public manner.

      I was raised under the Liberal government of Pierre Trudeau and believed our leaders when they spoke of creating a just society for all Canadians.

      Will you join us in our purusuit of human rights?

      Kevin Bourassa

      January 11, 2001

      Dear Mr. Bourassa:

      On behalf of Their Excellencies the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul, I wish to thank you for your communication dated January 5, 2001 in which you invite Their Excellencies to your wedding to be held on January 14, 2001 in Toronto.

      Their Excellencies regret that, because of previous commitments, it will not be possible for them to accept your invitation.

      In sending their regrets, Madame Clarkson and Mr. Saul have asked me to convey to you and to Mr. Varnell their congratulations and best wishes.

      Yours sincerely,

      Louise M. Cléroux

      Planning Officer

      Adrienne Clarkson, born in Hong Kong, was our first Asian-Canadian Governor General. She, like Michaelle Jean, was a journalist and author. The real kind.

      https://static1.squarespace.com/static/553bbc36e4b0e3680e1b4786/5550cf28e4b09406cdc8e20c/5550da28e4b0b3ec50527646/1431362093508/CLARKSON-COLOUR-HI-RES-FOR-PRINT.JPG?format=750w

  • Reality.Bites

    This was our Governor-General at the time our national marriage law was signed.

    http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/ODG_HGA/images/m_jean.jpg

    Kind of makes it understandable why we did it 12 years before Australia, with no plebiscite.

    The Governor-General performs the ceremonial and official duties of the Monarch and is the acting head of state whenever the Queen is not in Canada – in other words, almost always.

    So in a manner of speaking, Canada had a black head of state before the US did. And we’ve all seen her birth certificate. She was born in Haiti. Where you were born should NEVER be an impediment to any office in a free country.

    • Gigi

      I don’t even remember it being a big deal. Just remember one day being told that my man and I, who’d already been together a long time, could now get married. We were like, “Oh, okay.” Marriage has never been a priority to us but it made us feel good about living in a country that considered us equal. Only now after we’ve seen the fight to marriage equality elsewhere have we thought that maybe, one day, we’d marry. Probably at City Hall with a few friends, nothing ostentatious.

      • Nax

        I know this will sound off track, but universal health care makes many “culture war” issues, while passionate, different. Many (not all) of our fights have centered on who can be on who’s insurance. Even abortion fights, from a liberal’s perspective, are about poor people having access to abortion because the wealthy always will, no matter what the law. If everyone really has access to health insurance, it changes the tone of the debate.

        • Reality.Bites

          Actually those were a big deal in Canada, for things like pensions, drug plans, dental care – all things that aren’t government funded or in the case of pensions, carry big benefits for surviving spouses.

          The key difference is that these rights were all available to heterosexual couples living together unmarried. It separated rights and benefits from marriage, and those issues had been settled by the Supreme Court in 1999 – they couldn’t give benefits to heterosexual couples living together and not us, because they couldn’t even pretend there was anything remotely sacred about shacked up straights.

          So when marriage came a few years later, few rights actually came with it. The main differences are:

          1. You can marry tomorrow, but it takes 2-3 years for a couple living together to be recognized unless they have children together.

          2. You can pretty much walk away from a living-together situation and they’ll lose all their pension and inheritance rights that you could only do with a divorce if married.

          P.S. Our drug plans do cover birth control and don’t cover Viagra.

          • Nax

            We agree. 🙂 Edie Windsor was about inheritance. I would further comment that a strong social safety net slightly changes the tone of the debate. Anti-gay forces have much more leverage to inflict harm when it’s weak.

      • Reality.Bites

        One night in 2003, shortly after marriage became legal I was out walking my dog in Cawthra park, walking past those houses on the side street leading to the back entrance.

        I overhead one neighbour outside talking to another saying, “You’ll never guess what Bob and Ted did!” “What?” They got married!

        For a long time, getting married was something we thought a bit odd to want to do. Most of the news stories were about Americans coming to Toronto and other parts of Ontario to marry. We had the world’s first (and please god only) same-sex Jedi wedding at a sci-fi convention. We had city hall remain open on Pride Week Sunday for people visiting from around the world to get married. And of course we had Edith Windsor and Thea Spyer.

        The whole summer of 2003 was kind of like Hairspray, Chicago or Star Trek Discovery – filmed in Toronto with lots of Toronto locations and people working on it, but not really about us, just a show for Americans.

        • Gigi

          Come to think of it…I do remember meeting lots of couples at Pride that year who came from all over to get married. Many from the States. It was very festive!

          • Reality.Bites

            It was a couple of years later that I was at SF pride and it seemed so sad. Wave upon wave of marchers for marriage, and you could see how much it meant to them.

            They seems different, even from the marriage campaigners in Canada, where the prevailing attitude was more along the lines of “how dare they stop us from marrying if we want to when they know perfectly well they’re not allowed to.”

            We went into it with no doubt whatsoever of our constitutional rights.

            In 1995 the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that sexual orientation is an analogous ground to sex, race, religion and is protected under the constitution.

            Egan v. Canada created an important precedent for gay rights activists. The Court unanimously held that sexual orientation is an analoguous ground under Section 15 of the Charter and is therefore a prohibited ground of discrimination. Writing for the plurality, La Forest noted:

            I have no difficulty accepting the appellants’ contention that whether or not sexual orientation is based on biological or physiological factors, which may be a matter of some controversy, it is a deeply personal characteristic that is either unchangeable or changeable only at unacceptable personal costs, and so falls within the ambit of s. 15 protection as being analogous to the enumerated grounds.

  • billbear1961
    • Nax

      One of my all time favorite movies, and time to watch it again–it’s Christmas Court time, and every family has its little ups and downs.

      • billbear1961

        🙂

    • GayOldLady

      We were right here at JMG on that wonderful day June 26, 2015, waiting for the decision. Do you remember Mr. BillBear? What a great day. I never thought I’d live long enough to see it.

      • billbear1961

        I will NEVER forget it, GOL!

        • GayOldLady

          I think we laughed, screamed, cheered, cried and reminisced a lot that day.

          • billbear1961

            🙂

  • GayOldLady
  • GayOldLady

    DC Gay Men’s Chorus after Obergefell Decision
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1htADbtSXE

  • billbear1961
  • metrored

    Mardi Gras is going to be fucking nuts!
    Can you get there on Southwest points?
    Asking for a friend.

  • Bluto

    I’ll celebrate all the great news there is, even if vicariously taken from other nations. Congrits, Oz!

  • Gustav2
  • billbear1961
    • Phillip in L.A.

      Good morning, dear BillBear! So nice to see you, and thanks for the great morning musical choice! (I see even Snoopy is dancing, below).

  • danolgb
  • R W C

    Congrats and Thank You, Australia!

  • Vinnie NYC

    Finally and some good news from Australia. Pity and a shame so much money had been spent fighting this. Glad the haters lost, this time.

  • Mike

    Suck it, Margaret Court.

    • Reality.Bites

      It’s taken 70 years for a man to say that to her.

    • GanymedeRenard

      And suck it, Christianists in general!

  • Phillip in L.A.

    Wow! Great news, Australians! Congratulations to you all!

  • Publius

    Well done, Prime Minister. He really made this shit happen.

    • Ben in Oakland

      What he made happen was putting the civil rights and participation of citizens in society up to a popular vote, wherein the nasties were able to defame and slander to their hearts content.

      • Publius

        He didn’t have a choice. His party wouldn’t back him up. If it were up to him, as he said long ago, this would have gone straight to a vote in Parliament.

        The Labor Party sat on this for generations, doing nothing. No popular vote, no vote in Parliament. Gillard — a woman, single, feminist, and atheist — was curiously opposed to gay marriage, and did nothing. I think much of the criticism that’s leveled against this Prime Minister is on account of his political affiliation, which is a non-starter.

        • Ben in Oakland

          I get a bit confused about who is who in all of this, but it appears that the vote was overwhelming in favor of marriage. I have a hard time believing that people on the fence were just waiting for the plebiscite to say, “sure, now we can do it.” Or that the antigays were waiting for the same thing, and the miraculously changed their minds.

        • bobbleobble

          Nonsense. First of all Gillard may not have supported SSM but she did allow her MPs a free vote and there were votes on SSM during her time.

          Second, Turnbull is an abject coward who would rather waste $100m on a divisive and unnecessary postal vote during which assaults on LGBT people rocketed rather than standing up to the extreme right if his party. He passed the buck, hardly the sign of a great leader.

          • Publius

            None of that undermines my claim that his party didn’t back him up. The Liberals’ position was established some years ago (c. 2015?) when the Liberal MPs voted down having a free vote over a plebiscite. This was the party’s position that the PM inherited, even though he himself preferred a free vote.

            The PM was literally unable to hold a free vote. He made lemonades, held the vote, and brought the legislation to the floor and got it signed with a quickness. A net win.

            Also, Gillard didn’t believe in gay marriage but didn’t stop a free vote, correct. She passed the buck, hardly the sign of a great leader. A real leader tries to build consensus around their positions. Criticism of Turnbull over Gillard indicates naked partisanship, which isn’t warranted here. In this case, the Liberals got it done, while Labor did nothing when they were in power.

          • RationalismRules

            The job of a leader is to lead. If Turnbull ‘inherited the party’s position’ he should have led his party to change its position to bring it into line with the overwhelming majority of the Australian people. Instead he chose to abrogate that responsibility, and take the country on an expensive and divisive exercise that we did not need. Amplifying the voices of the bigoted through a public plebiscite is not a way to build consensus.

          • Publius

            These points are ridiculous, and as I said before, are based 100% on the PM’s political affiliation. These criticisms are common, and they are only leveled against the Liberals and never against Labor, despite the fact that principles of leadership also apply to them. The historical record will be honest: Labor didn’t do shit.

            This PM was sadly unable to sway his caucus in their 2-1 position against a free vote, and instead brought a plebescite. But at least he made it happen. If Labor had its way, Gillard would still be PM and mumbling about why she doesn’t want gays getting married because feminism or something.

          • RationalismRules

            You’re simply making a “whatabout” argument: “Don’t look at Malcolm Turnbull’s failings, because other people have failings too”. What happens in the Labour party is completely irrelevant to whether or not Malcolm Turnbull is a good leader. And you call my points ridiculous …!

          • Publius

            I’m taking issue with your opinions because they are not principled. They are merely reactions to the PM’s political affiliation. You don’t believe your own opinions in the context of judging the leadership of people whose views align with your own.

            I am simply responding to you in kind.

            According to your logic, Barack Obama is a failed leader because he was unable to sway his Democrat majorities in Congress to get on board with single payer. Or, FDR failed as a leader for not instituting guaranteed minimum income.

            Politicians who are not authoritarians are required to reckon with the political realities. They must try to pursuade. That’s what this PM did. Get over it. A conservative did something that benefits a lot of people.

          • RationalismRules

            You don’t even know my political affiliations, let alone how I apply my standards to others. Just because I don’t agree with you doesn’t render my opinions unprincipled. In fact, making baseless accusations, as you are doing, is far more unprincipled behavior than any argument I have made.

            Moving past your ad-hom accusations to your attempts at making an actual argument…

            Firstly, the US president does not lead their party in any way analogous to the relationship between the Australian PM and the lower house.
            Secondly, neither of your examples were issues supported by the overwhelming majority of the country, on which their party was significantly out of step.
            Thirdly, Turnbull’s weakness as a leader is attested to not merely by this one issue, but by the fact that his leadership has remained under constant threat, almost since the day he became PM.

            Yes, a conservative PM did something that benefits a lot of people. In this case, he did it in the most spineless, most divisive, most expensive way possible.

            And now he’s doing everything he can to try to claim himself as the hero of the hour.

          • Publius

            You mean to tell me a U.S. president whose party commands supermajorities in Congress cannot control his party to the same extent as a prime minister in a parliamentary system? Delusional.

            According to your logic, President Obama is a failure for his inability to pass ENDA, marriage equality, single payer, etc. A U.S. president, particularly a popular one elected in his own right, is well afforded the opportunity to lead his party.

            You are engaging in a bizarre exercise of cognitive dissonance and only furthering my point that your opinions are biased and based on political affiliation. They do not apply as principles to politicians of different parties, only to those you disagree with.

            I also don’t have a problem being accused of lodging an ad hominem, because you know and I know that I am right. Your personal politics are dictating these arguments.

          • RationalismRules

            Correct, the president does not control the legislative branch. The relationship between Australian PM and party is much more similar to the relationship between the US Leader of the House and party.

            More to the point, why are you going on about US politics? Turnbull’s lack of leadership has nothing to do with US politics (other than his sycophancy to Trump on his US visit, followed by mocking him in private).
            Also, you know nothing about my opinion of Obama’s leadership, any more than you know anything at all about my politics – you are simply making assumption after assumption after assumption.

            Re: ad homs, the point is that they contribute nothing to the issue under debate. Your personal attacks on me are irrelevant to what we are discussing, and true or not they make no difference to the value of my arguments. (On the other hand, the fact that you so immediately resorted to personal attacks speaks volumes about you).

          • Publius

            On why I went there so early on in the convo: because I could tell your personal biases from the outset. You were applying double standards, the only variable being political affiliation. I refused to entertain your bad faith argument then, as I am now.

            What’s getting a rise out of you is I’ve gotten it right that your biases, what is forming your opinions here, is based on your politics. You know it and I know it.

  • Al Prazolam

    I can’t even imagine the U.S. Congress passing a gay marriage law. Hate in the U.S. is too strong to allow such a thing. America is not such a progressive country. It’s filled with too many hate mongers.

    • Phillip in L.A.

      Howdy, Al. Agree. Stay chill!

  • GanymedeRenard

    I’m sure our Mr. BillBear will have a better selection, but here’s my two cents:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vvgl_2JRIUs

    Edit: Correction! He already did! Sorry for not scrolling down before.

  • JWC

    Its amazig how resheshing other world news is especially when it does NOT include the word TRUMP

  • scream4ever

    I love seeing that the map on Wikipedia has already been changed!!!

  • RationalismRules

    Our glorious Prime Minister put the country through an expensive, divisive and entirely unnecessary plebiscite because he does not possess the spine to stand up to the right wing factions in his party. Now he is doing everything he can to try to make himself look like the hero of the piece.

  • JCF
  • It’s easy to be cynical about our pollies’ sudden enthusiasm for gay rights and to wonder what would have happened if the plebiscite — and its resounding YES vote — hadn’t happened. And to ask how long it will be before we start hearing “I know in my heart that the majority of Australians agree with my bigotry” again in the halls of Parliament.

    Still, we are right to rejoice today!