Final vote on same sex marriage bill looms

Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott leaves the chamber ahead of the final vote on the Marriage Amendment Bill in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra Thursday

Final vote on same sex marriage bill looms

However, PM Malcolm Turnbull has said he will support at least two amendments to the bill to allow for religious freedoms.

If the bill passes unchanged from the one that cleared the Senate last week, it will become law. The major parties want the legislation passed this week after a majority of Australian's endorsed change in a postal ballot last month. Taking into account the requirement to give a month's notice of intent to marry in Australia, we should be seeing the first same-sex weddings take place in January.

Marriage equality campaigners have fought for years for Thursday's vote.

Forster was joined in the public gallery by her partner, Virginia Edwards.

The votes in favour of the bill were not even counted as a majority was not questioned.

"These amendments are important and I stress they are not against same-sex marriage, they are simply in favor of the rights of religious organizations to keep doing what their doing", Abbott said.

The final amendment to the bill was defeated by 63-79 in the House of Representatives. On Thursday night, Queensland MP Bob Katter, who went viral for his dismissal of gay marriage in light of fatal crocodile attacks, delivered a 15-minute speech declaring that same-sex marriage was not of interest of gay couples because heterosexual couples weren't getting married either. "The Parliament has got on with it and we have voted today for a equality, for love, it is time for more marriages, more commitment, more love, more respect, and we respect every Australian who was voted, those who voted yes, and those who voted no, this belongs to us all, this is Australia!"

Opposition leader Bill Shorten also spoke ahead of vote, saying: "Australia, we are going to make marriage equality a reality in minutes".

Same-sex marriage supporters wearing colourful "Yes" T-shirts clapped and cheered as amendments were voted down, prompting repeated warnings they should stop their barracking.

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