Australia

Same-Sex Marriage Bill Passes Australian Capital Territory's Legislative Assembly

First marriages likely to begin in December

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Gay and lesbian couples will be able to wed in the ACT after a bill to legalise same-sex marriage passed the territory's Legislative Assembly.

People in the public gallery clapped and sang Love Is In The Air when the bill passed shortly before midday on Tuesday.

The first marriages are likely to take place from December.

But the federal government has flagged a challenge to the laws in the High Court.

The ACT's gay deputy chief minister broke down in tears during debate on his government's historic bill to legalise same-sex marriage in the territory.

'The sacrifice, the suffering, the struggle and the tireless exertions and passionate concern of gay and lesbian Canberrans, their parents and their families finds a voice and finds a champion in this Assembly,' Andrew Barr said on Tuesday.