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Same-Sex Marriage Legalized in Australia to Jubilation

  • Marriage equality bill passes lower house to cheers, applause
  • First gay weddings expected early next year after vote
Equality ambassadors from the The Equality Campaign gather in front of Parliament House on Dec. 7.
Equality ambassadors from the The Equality Campaign gather in front of Parliament House on Dec. 7.Photographer: Sean Davey/AFP via Getty Images
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Australia legalized same-sex marriage Thursday, paving the way for the first gay weddings to be held early next year and triggering jubilant celebrations at Parliament House.

Lawmakers and supporters of marriage equality in the public gallery cheered and applauded as the legislation was passed in the lower chamber, three weeks after the public overwhelmingly backed changing the law in a nationwide survey.