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Australian lawmaker says uncertainty won't stop gay marriage

07 December 2017

More than 100 MPs had delivered speeches, many emotional, in the lead-up to the final vote with most in support of changes to the Marriage Act.

An Australian lawmaker giving a speech on same-sex marriage proposed to his gay partner Monday during Parliament's debate on a bill that is expected to soon legalize marriage equality across the country. Wilson added to applause.

Thursday was set to be a historic day for gay marriage advocates in Australia, with same-sex marriage expected to pass in the late afternoon.

The Senate voted decisively in favour of the legislation last week. Several amendments being proposed would expand those exemptions, but Dutton and other lawmakers expect all amendments would be rejected.

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.

If the House of Representatives supported such an amendment, then the altered bill would have to return to the Senate for ratification, delaying the reform.

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Mr Abbott said he moved the amendment "out of respect for the millions of Australians who take religious freedom seriously".

Further debate on amendments delayed the vote until almost 6pm tonight.

Gay marriage was endorsed by 62 percent of Australian voters who responded to a government-commissioned postal ballot last month.

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

The only potential obstacle to the law passing on Thursday would be if marriage equality opponents managed to amend the legislation.

Australian lawmaker says uncertainty won't stop gay marriage