Australia to become the 26th country to allow same sex marriage

The legislation passed with a majority that wasn’t challenged

Members of parliament, from left, Cathy McGowan, Adam Brandt and Andrew Wilkie celebrate the passing of the Marriage Amendment Bill (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- On Thursday the Australian government voted to allow same-sex marriage across the nation after a survey conducted by the government earlier in November received strong endorsement for a change in the laws of Australia. 

The bill was passed with loud applause, cheering and hugs in the 150 seat House of Representatives. All except four of the representatives voted in the favor of same-sex marriage. 

"What a day for love, for equality, for respect. Australia has done it. Every Australian had their say and they said it is fair, get on with it," said Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to the House, according to reports from local media. 

The reform will commence from Saturday when same-sex couples can apply for marriage and officially tie the knot a month later. 

"Now is the time for healing. A time to build, a time to love, and is now, at last, a time for marriage equality," said Labor Party leader Bill Shorten, who spoke proudly of the change calling it a uniting moment for all Australians. 

LGBT groups and campaigners celebrated the historic decision from outside the parliament in the Australian capital Canberra, celebrating the big moment for all Australians. 

The new law will make Australia the 26th country that that will join the current list of countries with legalized same-sex marriage; the United States, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Portugal, Argentina, Denmark, Uruguay, New Zealand, France, Brazil, England and Wales, Scotland, Luxembourg, Finland, Ireland, Greenland, Colombia, and Malta. 

A total of 62 percent of the voters responded in favor of same-sex marriage last month in a postal ballot commissioned by the government in Australia. 

Same-sex marriage is yet to be legalized in Taiwan although the Taiwanese High Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage declaring that the denial of same-sex marriage would be unconstitutional.