Oct. 22 - The Australian Capital Territory became the first jurisdiction in Australia to legalise same-sex marriage with a bill passing the ACT parliament by just one vote on Tuesday. Sarah Toms reports.
The Australian Capital Territory has become the first part of Australia to legalise same-sex marriage. After a short debate, the Territory's parliament passed a bill that would allow gay couples to marry. The bill was passed by just just one vote. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF MINISTER OF THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY, KATY GALLAGHER, SAYING: "All eight Labor members feel very deeply about ending discrimination, not just around marriage equality but across the statute book, and I think it makes it easier when progressive side of politics is not divided on fundamental equality issues like this.." Same sex couples will now be allowed to marry in the ACT regardless of which state they live in....and the first marriages could take place by the end of the year. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF AUSTRALIAN MARRIAGE EQUALITY, IVAN HINTON, SAYING: "This is about people, and we're just people. We're not activists, we just want to have the right to love the person that we love, and to be with them for the rest of our lives, and to celebrate that relationship the way in which we choose. And what I ask the federal government to do is recognise my dignity as an Australian citizen, and let me do that." But the national government, led by conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott, is expected to challenge the law in the High Court of Australia.