On Thursday, Australia's House of Representatives approved a measure to redefine marriage as "a union of two people," not just a man and a woman, paving the way for the first same-sex marriage in February. The Senate had passed the measure last week, 43-12. The lower house of Parliament rejected all amendments, including ones on freedom of speech and religion, meaning the bill will become law as is, after royal assent and a few other formalities.
Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull's government had introduced the bill after 62 percent of Australians voted in favor of same-sex marriage in an eight-week national poll; turnout was 79.5 percent of eligible voters, or 12.7 million people.
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