The public gallery of the Australian Parliament began singing “I Am Australian,” an unofficial country anthem, today as legislators passed nationwide marriage equality in a near unanimous vote. (Only four legislators voted against it.) The vote followed approval of a same-sex marriage bill in the Australian Senate last week and a non-binding national postal vote last month in which 61.6% of voters supported Australia same-sex marriage as well.
The bill will now go to Governor-General Peter Cosgrove for Royal Assent (possibly within the next seven to 10 days) and will become law 28 days later or sooner, if the government sets an official date.
The quick passage of marriage equality a month after the postal vote follows 22 unsuccessful attempts to pass marriage equality since 2004.
The passage of marriage equality has also caused celebrities to praise the vote via social media. A homophobic straight couple who promised to divorce if same-sex marriage became legal has announced their plans and the hashtag #EatShitLyle began circulating on Twitter as a taunt to Australian Christian Lobby managing director Lyle Shelton, a vocal opponent of marriage equality. We’ll discuss all these in brief below.
Here’s a video of the Parliament passing the Australia same-sex marriage bill:
After announcement of the vote, viewers in the Parliament’s public gallery broke into tears, applause and a rendition of “I Am Australian,” an unofficial anthem whose chorus goes: “We are one, but we are many / And from all the lands on earth we come / We’ll share a dream and sing with one voice / ‘I am, you are, we are Australian.'”
Celebrities like pop-singer Kylie Minogue, Australian Drag Race alum Courtney Act, Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe and director Dustin Lance Black all celebrated the legalization on Twitter.
— kylie minogue (@kylieminogue) December 7, 2017
You may now officially say “CONGRATULATIONS” to Australia on #MarriageEquaility ?️???
— Courtney Act (@courtneyact) December 7, 2017
Thank you, Australia #yes
— Ian Thorpe (@IanThorpe) November 14, 2017
— Dustin Lance Black (@DLanceBlack) December 7, 2017
Straight married couple Nick and Sarah Jensen voted against marriage equality in the non-binding postal vote and pledged in 2015 to divorce if same-sex marriage became legalized. They’ve since predictably backtracked on their promise, although more than 100,000 people have joined a Facebook event called ‘Celebrating Nick and Sarah Jensen’s divorce.’
The hashtag #EatShitLyle has also started circulating on Twitter in response to Australian Christian Lobby managing director Lyle Shelton, a vocal opponent of marriage equality.
Here’s my response to your years of hate, lies and demonisation of people who just wanted the equal legal rights: #eatshitlyle
— Chris Miller (@plumbat) December 7, 2017
I hope all my queer friends are okay and you get increasingly fewer reasons to not be okay and also eat shit Lyle
— christian mccrea (@christianmccrea) December 7, 2017
— Richard Newsome (@RichardNewsome) December 7, 2017
It's now compulsory for all celebrants to say "Eat Shit Lyle!" during wedding ceremonies.
— Pauline Pantsdown (@PPantsdown) December 7, 2017
now, a #MarriageEquaility haiku:
equal marriage rights,
at last, australian law.
also: eat shit lyle
— illy bocean (@IllyBocean) December 7, 2017
In addition to vocally opposing same-sex marriage, Shelton repeatedly refers to kids brought up by same-sex couples as “a Stolen Generation” and supports the psychologically torturous (and throughly debunked) use of so-called ex-gay conversion therapy on LGBTQ minors.