Same-sex marriage bill to go to Governor-General this morning
THE bill to legalise same-sex marriage is set to be sent to the Governor-General first thing this morning so it can be approved and made into law as soon as possible.
The marriage equality laws cleared parliament unchanged on Thursday evening after a marathon debate lasting 56 hours, passing without additional religious protections.
The chamber and public gallery erupted into cheers, with crowds and politicians rose to their feet clapping and hugging one another.
Same-sex couples will be able to lodge formal intentions to wed from this Saturday before getting married from January 9.
Gay couples who tied the knot overseas will have their unions officially recognised as soon as the laws gain royal ascent.
"What a day! What a day for love, for equality, for respect. Australia has done it," Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told parliament, just before the bill passed.