After putting the issue of same-sex marriage to a public referendum, the Australian parliament acted as though it were God and voted to redefine marriage in order to allow same-sex couples to legally wed:
NBC NEWS – The Australian Parliament voted on Thursday to allow same-sex marriage across the nation, following a bitter and divisive debate settled by the government polling voters in a much-criticized ballot survey that strongly endorsed change.
The public gallery of the House of Representatives erupted with applause when the bill passed to change the definition of marriage from solely between a man and a woman to “a union of two people” excluding all others. The legislation passed with a majority that wasn’t challenged, although five lawmakers registered their opposition to the bill.
The Senate passed the same legislation last week 43 votes to 12. After formalities the law will likely take effect in about a month, with the first weddings expected about a month later.
Gay marriage was endorsed by 62 percent of Australian voters who responded to the government-commissioned postal ballot.
Not only did they pass the bill, but they did it with no protections whatsoever for Christians:
Amendments meant to safeguard freedoms of speech and religion for gay-marriage opponents were all rejected, though those issues may be considered later. The government has appointed a panel to examine how to safeguard religious freedoms once gay marriage is a reality in Australia.
Lawmakers advocating marriage equality had argued that the national postal survey in November mandated a change of the marriage definition alone, so changing the law should not be delayed by other considerations.
Of course they say it’s coming, but only time will tell as to whether it actually manifests in some reasonable way.
So Australia legalizing gay marriage should bring the total to 26 countries, following in the footsteps of Germany and Malta this year.
Signs of the times.