Australia’s Federal Parliament voted in a landslide to legalize same-sex marriage on Thursday. Only four members of 150-seat parliament opposed the change after a public vote in November showed overwhelming support for marriage equality.
This makes Australia the 26th nation in the world that allows same-sex couples to marry, according to Pew Research Center.
The Netherlands was the first country to legalize same-sex marriage in December 2000.
The 2015 Supreme Court ruling on Obergefell v. Hodges made same-sex marriage legal in the U.S. after a sweeping change in public opinion on the issue. As of 2001, 57% of Americans opposed same-sex marriage. But the tides have turned in a big way: Today, 62% support it, according to Pew Research.
However, the Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in a case that considers the legal relationship between gay rights and religious freedom. The justices are divided over whether a baker discriminated against a gay couple when he refused to create their wedding cake in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
The ruling could have wide-ranging implications for anti-discrimination laws, for the LGBT community and other minorities in the U.S.
Couples in Australia have to give 28 days’ notice before marrying, so the first same-sex ceremonies won't take place until January 2018. One parliamentarian wasted no time.
Tom Wilson asked his partner, Ryan Bolger, to marry him during a speech in Parliament on Monday. The House of Representatives said it was the first time that a politician has proposed from the floor of the governing body. Bolger said yes.