Marriage redefined in Australia despite religious freedom fears

Catholic News Agency | 12/7/2017 | Staff
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Sydney, Australia, Dec 7, 2017 / 04:28 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- After a national mail-in poll found that a majority of Australians supported same-sex marriage, a bill passed Thursday changed the legal definition of marriage from being between “a man and a women” to “between two people.”

The parliamentary vote comes after a two-month postal survey which concluded on Nov. 7, with nearly 80 percent of Australia’s voting eligible population in participation. Of the 12.7 million people who voted, 61 percent voted in favor of same-sex marriage.

Poll - Introduction - Bill - Parliament - Week

The poll was legally non-binding, but it did initiate the introduction of a bill in parliament. Last week the piece of legislation was passed through the upper house Senate, 43-12.

On Thursday, it passed the 150-seat lower House of Representatives, with only four members opposed.

Saturday - Day - Couples - Notice - Marriage

Saturday will be the first day homosexual couples may lodge a notice of intended marriage, but they must wait until early January until they can make it official. The legislation will automatically recognize civil marriages of same-sex couples from other countries.

According to the New York Times, a handful of conservative lawmakers pushed to include amendments that would protect religious freedom, but their efforts failed during the final debate, which lasted four days.

Prime - Minister - Malcolm - Turnbull - Supporter

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, a longtime supporter of same-sex marriage, said the bill did not force marriage celebrants to perform homosexual weddings, nor did it threaten the legal status of religious groups who hold that marriage is only between a man...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Catholic News Agency
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