On December 8, 2017, the Australian Parliament passed a new law authorizing same-sex marriage. The bill passed its third reading with four members of Parliament in opposition. The new law expands on earlier legislation which already provided equality to same-sex couples for matters of government benefits, employment and taxes. The new law automatically recognizes same-sex marriages from other countries.
The Parliament’s vote follows a two-month national postal survey, the result of which indicated that 61% of 12 million respondents were in favor of marriage equality. The vote makes Australia the 24th State in the world to allow same-sex marriage.