PARLIAMENT SAYS ‘YES’

Same-sex marriages are expected to begin in Australia on January 9, 2018, after parliament passed historic marriage laws with a massive vote of support.

Fairfax reports that Governor-General Peter Cosgrove will sign the bill into law today meaning same-sex couples can lodge notice of their intent to marry tomorrow, making them eligible to do so in one month’s time.

Last-minute efforts to amend the bill first put forward by Liberal Senator Dean Smith yesterday failed, with approximately 130 lower house MPs voting to support the final bill. Only four MPs voted against it: Bob Katter, and Coalition MPs Keith Pitt, David Littleproud, and Russell Broadbent. According to The Australian ($), Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison were among a group of seven or more Coalition MPs who abstained.

After the parliament voted yes, members of the public gallery burst into applause, followed by a rendition of I Am Australian. Australia is the 26th nation to enact same-sex marriage.

DEMOCRATIC SENATOR QUITS

US Democratic Senator Al Franken has become one of the highest level casualties to fall in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

The former Saturday Night Live star and comedian initially drew scrutiny over a photo that appeared to show him mock-groping the breasts of broadcaster Leeann Tweeden as they travelled the Middle East to entertain troops. Tweeden said Franken had forcibly tried to kiss her.

The Franken incident drew attention as Democrats tried to defeat Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore in his bid to claim a seat in Alabama. Moore is accused of having sex with girls as young as 14.

But it’s Franken who now bows out of politics, announcing to the US Senate overnight that he would step down.

“I know in my heart that nothing I’ve done as a senator — nothing — has brought dishonour on this institution,” he said.

SEVEN TAKES HARRISON TO COURT

Amber Harrison could be facing jail time after Chanel Seven initiated contempt proceedings against her.

The former employee went public over an affair with executive Tim Worner. Now, Seven alleges Harrison breached court orders to not comment about Seven West Media or Worner.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT

“The key to being a happy and effective prime minister is to get a good night’s sleep and plenty of exercise,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told 7.30 host Leigh Sales last night.

Sales had asked the PM what thoughts run through his mind when he can’t sleep at night. “I sleep right through the night,” Turnbull insisted.

READ ALL ABOUT IT

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Queensland election: Townsville win delivers Labor 48 seats but LNP refuses to concede

New sabotage laws for cyber attacks on Australia’s critical infrastructure

WHAT’S ON TODAY 

Canberra: Federal parliament’s joint standing committee on electoral matters begins public hearings on section 44 of the constitution. The High Court will also hold a directions hearing regarding retired senators Jacqui Lambie, Stephen Parry and Skye Kakoschke-Moore.

Canberra: Australia’s US ambassador Joe Hockey speaks at the Australian National University about the presidency of Donald Trump.

Sydney: Two men, Adrian Attwater and Paul Maris, to be sentenced over the manslaughter and sexual assault of Lynette Daley.

Adelaide: Adelaide Fringe Festival to be launched.

THE COMMENTARIAT

Parliament votes yes and casts a permanent shadow over Abbott’s legacy — Katharine Murphy (The Guardian): “The minority postured, preened, raved and roiled but the majority pushed through and made history. Only four parliamentarians voted no, a chapter of discrimination passed into history and the parliament’s temporary theatre-in-the-round exploded in triumph and relief.”

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

Will marriage equality lead to defunded private schools? — Charlie Lewis: “Yes, they could no longer say that the legal definition of marriage corresponds with they way they would prefer it was defined, but there’s nothing that would stop them saying “this is how our religion defines marriage”.”

Send in the clowns — Guy Rundle: “David Feeney, former Melbourne Uni House and Services Officer (co-office with Kathy Koukouvas, Jackson as became) was taunting me. He had a right to.”

On the ethics and possibility of enjoying good art by bad men — Helen Razer: “It’s not altogether a case of knowing a bit more about the conditions in which something was produced. More a case of admitting that the conditions of consumption change over time.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

Peter Fray

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