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Australia Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

Bianca Gosai, Fall Reporter

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For 13 years, the people of Australia have been fighting over the legalization of same-sex marriage. With only four votes against the bill, the final approval showed their support of the LGBTQ community by legalizing same-sex marriage on Thursday, December 7, 2017.

The Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, stated, “This is Australia: fair, diverse, loving and filled with respect. For every one of us this is a great day.”

After the decision was made, spectators began to sing a well-known anthem, “I Am Australian.” Lawmakers hearing this, stood and glanced at the gallery full of people singing their hearts out. As this went on, many were wiping their tears from their eyes.

According to the New York Times, “The new law expands on earlier legislation that provided equality to same-sex couples in areas like government benefits, employment and taxes.” The law changes the definition of marriage from “ “the union of a man and a woman” to “the union of two people.”

Since 2004, there have been 22 unsuccessful attempts to making same-sex marriage legal. Now many Australians are celebrating.

According to the New York Times, gay rights advocates said, “the law should be seen as the triumph of a democracy learning to live up to its values.”

The final debate lasted four days, including more than 100 speakers. On the first day, Tim Wilson, a gay man, talked about his and his partner, Ryan Bolger’s, struggles. To end it off, Wilson looked towards Bolger, and asked, “Ryan Patrick Bolger, will you marry me?”

This story catches the eyes of many. It was a moment of triumph in Australian history, and will be celebrated by many. This new law gives hope and a chance to the people who never had any. This doesn’t just affect the LGBTQ community, but those who support them. It shows the equality and kindness there is in this world. As the years have gone by, people changed, the world changed, and hearts changed. Now people aren’t afraid to show the world who they are. People aren’t hiding behind someone they aren’t. Today people are going out into the world, coming out of their cocoons, and spreading their wings.

 

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/07/world/australia/gay-marriage-same-sex.html

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