January 2018 Church & State | AU Bulletin

The Australian Parliament has voted to legalize same-sex marriage, joining dozens of countries that afford their LGBTQ citizens marriage equality.

Prior to passing the bill in the country’s Senate and House, Australia conducted a nationwide survey to gauge Australians’ support of marriage equality. At 61.6 percent, the historic survey, which 80 percent of eligible voters responded to, showed that a majority of Australians sup­port same-sex marriage, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

After the vote, Australian lawmakers took action to­ward a parliamentary change that would enact mar­riage equality. Although Australian Religious Right groups criti­cized the move, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, a sup­porter of marriage equality, praised the results.

The bill was officially signed into law Dec. 8. Couples who intend to wed in Australia can do so starting this year.