Australia's Senate passes a measure to legalise same-sex marriage, perhaps as soon as next week, after lawmakers dismissed a conservative push to allow religious objectors to refuse service to same-sex couples. Samantha Vadas reports.
One step closer to legalizing same sex marriage Down Under. SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, SCOTT RYAN SAYING: "The result of the division is ayes 43, no's 12. The matter is resolved in the affirmative. The bill has passed." Australia's senate passed a bill on Wednesday (November 29) clearing the way for it to become law as soon as next week. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SENATOR AND LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE, PENNY WONG SAYING: "This day has been a long time coming. A day for which many of us have worked in our parties, a day for which many in the Australian community have worked. A day many of us have hoped for." Conservative lawmakers had pushed for religious rights protections covering businesses like florists and bakers which could potentially refuse services to same-sex couples. But the changes were rejected. It comes just two weeks after Aussies voted overwhelmingly in favour of same-sex marriage. The next stop for the bill will be the House of Representatives where it's expected to be passed by December 7, making Australia the 26th country to legalise same sex unions, while fulfilling Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's promise to get it done by Christmas.