Australian MPs vote to allow same-sex marriage

The Australian parliament voted on Thursday to allow same-sex marriage. The decision follows a divisive debate settled by the government polling voters in a ballot survey that strongly endorsed change, AP reports. The House of Representatives passed the bill to change the definition of marriage from solely between a man and a woman to “a union of two people” excluding all others. The legislation passed with a majority that was not challenged, while five lawmakers registered their opposition to the bill. The Senate passed the same legislation last week 43 votes to 12. After royal assent and other formalities, the law will likely take effect in about a month. The first weddings are expected about a month later.