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Tonight, we are one gigantic step closer to legalising gay marriage.

It’s happening, it’s happening…

The Federal Opposition leaders have just announced they will introduce a bill for marriage equality to Parliament next week.

Just days after Ireland voted for same-sex marriage, Deputy Leader of the Opposition Tanya Plibersek has announced the good news on Facebook.

marriage equality bill

Bill Shorten and I have just given formal notice we will present a bill for marriage equality to the Parliament next week,” her message read.

“The time for marriage equality in Australia has well and truly come. Together we can get this done.”

Read Tanya Plibersek on Why we’ll keep fighting for same sex marriage: “Because almost equal is not good enough.”

And it’s about bloody time.

marriage equality bill
Bill Shorten and Tanya Plibersek have both signed off on the Private Member’s Bill, to be moved by Mr Shorten in the House of Representatives on Monday. Image via Facebook.
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While Prime Minister Tony Abbott staunchly opposes same-sex marriage, it will remain to be seen whether the Coalition MPs will be allowed a conscience vote, like Labor MPs.

The private member’s bill – to be introduced by Mr Shorten on Monday and co-sponsored by Ms Plibersek – will dramatically quicken the political pace on the question of same-sex marriage.

The question of whether Labor MPs should be bound to vote in favour of same-sex marriage was to be discussed at the ALP national conference in July.

The Greens had also set November 12 for a Senate vote on the bill.

Check out this heartwarming gallery of post-referendum celebrations in Ireland and get excited:

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“I know this private member’s bill will not have the universal support of my colleagues,” Mr Shorten told Fairfax Media.

“It will challenge the deeply held personal beliefs of MPs and senators on both sides of politics [but] I believe the time has well and truly come for the Parliament to debate marriage equality.

“Our current law excludes some individuals, and to me, that is unacceptable.”

Watch this video – a powerful argument for same-sex marriage in Australia (post continues after video):

There has been growing confidence that the numbers have shifted in favour of same-sex marriage, though the bill’s success in the House of Representatives would likely be subject to a free vote being granted to all Liberal and Nationals MPs.

And the entire nation will be waiting with bated breath.

For more on marriage equality, try these articles:

Australia is just four votes away from recognising all love as equal.

Congratulations! Ireland votes YES on same sex marriage.

Tony Abbott rules out same sex marriage referendum.

Tony Abbott’s sister is actively lobbying the PM on the new marriage equality bill.

Do you think the bill will be passed next week?

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