The Australian Senate has just passed its bill to legalise same-sex marriage by a margin of 43 to 12, with senators and onlookers alike applauding the historic vote’s success.

Marriage equality advocates across the political divide embraced after the result was announced. Liberal Senator Dean Smith, who first raised the bill, was hugged by Labor’s Penny Wong, while other senators celebrated the hard-fought victory.

The Coalition’s Simon Birmingham and George Brandis also shared a hug, while No-voting senators including Cory Bernardi, Matt Canavan, and Eric Abetz could be seen remaining on the sidelines.

In a post-vote press conference, Smith paid tribute to those who had fought for equality before him.

“The courage that was required to stop this fight, stop this argument, to claw for equality before the law, was much harder to do in the past than it has been to do in the present,” Smith said.

“So my first thoughts are absolutely with all of those who have gone before us.”

Wong said “I’m a bit lost for words,” adding “it is always a privilege to stand in the chamber, but there are days when you feel like you are part of changing the nation”.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale had his say too, announcing “today we have filled Australia with love.

“Love has made its way through the Senate. It is unstoppable now through the House.”

The bill will now head to the House of Representatives, where it will be debated next week.

One step closer, friends.

Source: ABC
Image: Parliament of Australia