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Australia Officially Votes to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

AP Photo/Mick Tsikas

Only four lawmakers voted against the bill, which makes Australia the 26th country to legalize marriage equality. 

Love won in Australia. After a long, bitter postal vote over whether to legalize same-sex marriage ended with overwhelming support, the Australian Parliament voted today to officially legalize marriage equality, which makes the country the 26th in the world to legalize it.

Related | Australians Vote 'YES' on Same-Sex Marriage Equality

The historic victory for the country comes after years of conservative backlash against the measure and 22 different attempts to legalize same-sex marriage. In a speech about the decisive victory, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who has been a longtime supporter of same-sex marriage, made this statement: "This belongs to us all. This is Australia: fair, diverse, loving and filled with respect. For every one of us this is a great day." After the vote, a chorus of the popular song "I Am Australian" broke out amongst the lawmakers.

The new bill changes the definition of marriage from "the union of a man and a woman" to "the union of two people," and automatically recognizes same-sex marriages from other countries.

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