Thursday, Dec. 7 will now go down in Australia's history books as the day Australia legalized same-sex marriage. The country's parliament passed the marriage equality bill almost unanimously, with only four members opposing. After declaring in 2004 that marriage was only between a man and a woman, this recent reversal means Australia now joins 24 other countries that recognize same-sex marriage. The vote was broadcast live and after years of activists campaigning and lobbying for this LGBTQ victory, Australians were literally jumping for joy after securing the "yes" vote.
The cross-party bill becomes official law of the land sometime this month. Thousands of Australian same-sex couples who have already married in foreign countries will also have their marriages automatically recognized. In a television interview on ABC News, the author of the bill Sen. Dean Smith said the passage of marriage equality was “a measure of what can be done when people put some of their partisan politics behind.” Smith is also the first openly gay federal parliamentarian in Australia's Liberal party.
Rainbow flags are flying on Thursday as people celebrate outside and share their happiness online. Twitter captured much of the jubilance. Below are some of the most joyous and heartwarming reactions.