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The Australian Capital Territory has become the first part of Australia to legalise same-sex marriage.
The ACT parliament passed a bill that will allow gay couples to marry, after a short debate on Tuesday. Celebrants will now be allowed to marry same-sex couples inside the ACT, regardless of which state they live in. Federal law, however, specified in that marriage was between a man and a woman, and the federal government is expected to challenge the move. The Marriage Equality Act puts this fundamental principle and human right into law," the Australian Broadcasting Corporation quoted her as saying.
Ms Gallagher said that the first weddings could take place by the end of the year.
Attorney-General George Brandis, however, says the local law will face a legal challenge, because it is inconsistent with the national-level Marriage Act. The ACT bill was amended shortly before it passed in an attempt to strengthen it against a potential challenge. His sister, however, has recently disclosed that she is engaged to her female partner. Last year, a bill allowing same-sex marriage was voted down in both houses of Australia's national parliament. Rudd in gay-marriage defence. The politics of gay marriage. More on this story.
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