Australia’s long war for equality has finally borne fruitful results after the bill for legalization of same gender marriage was passed last week, adding the country to the list of 25 nations where same-gender couples have a legal right to get married. One Australian ambassador celebrated the equal marriage rights in an unforgettable way when he got down on his knee and proposed to his partner.

Australia Becomes the 25th Country to Legalize Same-Gender Marriage

Same-gender Marriage Rally, Australia

It’s been a historical week in the Australian Parliament where a unanimous cross-party bill for same-gender marriage was passed after a 13-year-long struggle for equal rights. The Australian Marriage Act had previously been amended in 2004 by the conservative Prime Minister of Liberal Party who put a ban on these marriages.

The decision to reverse the amendment came after a nation-wide postal survey asking the Austrian public if the federal law should be reformed to allow equal marriage rights. The results of the survey showed that a large population of the country was in favor of making the reform with more than 60% of the Australians voting ‘yes’.

Australian Ambassador Proposes to His Partner in Paris

Australian ambassador to France, Bendan Berne, proposes to his partner, Thomas Marti after the same-gender marriage became legal

The historical reform was finally legislated by the House of Representatives on December, 5, 2017 with the unofficial national anthem ‘We are Australian’ echoing from the public gallery of the parliament. The bill was first passed in the lower house with an almost-unanimous vote from all member of the senate except MPs Russell Broadbent, David Littleproud, Bob Katter and Keith Pitt. The Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull, rejoiced after the vote was declared carried by the speaker of the House of Representatives.

Turnbull said that it was a day of victory for every Australian who voted yes to the reform. “Australia has finally done it,” he said. The Prime Minister wasn’t the only one who celebrated the news that day. Inside the Australian embassy in Paris, Bendan Berne, the Australian ambassador to France got down on his knee to propose to his partner Thomas Marti.

Tying the Knot

Berne and his partner have been together for almost 11 years now and the ambassador could not wait for the bill to be passed so that he and Marti would finally have the freedom to be in a marriage and start a family in the future. Bendan captured the heartwarming moment on camera and later shared it on Twitter announcing that the day had finally come for him and Australia after his partner said yes to the marriage proposal.

Before he popped the question, Bendan Berne clarified in the video that as an ambassador to France, his job was to fortify the relationship between the two nations but now, he finally got the chance to do the same with his relationship to Marti. But Bendan wasn’t the first Australian politician to publicly celebrate the law by proposing to his partner. Three days earlier, a member of the Liberal Party, Tim Wilson, proposed to his partner on the senate floor during a debate on same gender marriages.

People celebrating outside Parliament including television star Magda Szubanski

His partner, Ryan Bolger, who was sitting in the public gallery said yes to the proposal. The law is expected to take effect in a month after completing all the formalities and the first same-gender marriage is expected to take place two months from now.

Celebrations across the country erupted after the equal marriage was legalized but some are not happy that it took Australia 13 years to make the reform. Furthermore, the fact that almost 40% of the population voted against equal marriage rights in the nation-wide survey is concerning. The social media exploded with ecstatic cheers to praise the Australian government but the truth is that the LGBTQI community still doesn’t have the equality and respect that it deserves and the reform wouldn’t have much significance unless it was unanimously accepted in Australia.

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