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This Australian senator's tearful plea for marriage equality is a must-watch.

Longtime marriage equality supporter Sarah Hanson-Young's raw speech shares a hopeful message of perseverance.

This Australian senator's tearful plea for marriage equality is a must-watch.

A few weeks ago, the people of Australia went to the polls and overwhelmingly voted "YES" on a referendum to legalize marriage equality throughout the country. It was great news for LGBTQ Australians and their supporters, and people celebrated accordingly.

People partied in the Melbourne streets. Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images.


Marriage equality supporter and Greens Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young struggled to hold back tears as she spoke recently on the verge of the bill's passage.

Paying tribute to Robert James "Bob" Brown, the first out gay legislator in Australia's parliament, Hanson-Young choked up as she talked about the importance of continuing Brown's work in fighting for a more equal and accepting world.

"This parliament has come such a long way. Twenty bills have been introduced to reverse this awful law," she said, referring to Australian Marriage Act, which banned same-sex marriage. "Seven of them, embarrassingly so, in my name."

After years of failed efforts to overturn or amend that law, victory is within reach.

GIF from Christine Byllaardt/NewsCorp Australia.

GIF from Christine Byllaardt/NewsCorp Australia.

"Millions of Australians have fought for this reform to happen. Inquiries after inquiries, protesting on the street, meeting with members of parliament, lobbying in their workplaces and voting 'yes.' It is now time for the Senate to do our job, to get this done," she said during the floor speech, wiping tears from her eyes, adding that "discrimination to some demeans us all."

Despite the victorious vote, same-sex marriage still isn't legal in Australia — at least not until the bill passes.

The people have spoken, but it won't be until their elected representatives take action on the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill currently sitting in Australia's parliament.

There's little doubt that a bill of some form will pass — running afoul of the people's vote is a massive political risk probably not worth taking — but opponents of marriage equality want to carve out "religious freedom" exemptions designed to allow for continued discrimination against same-sex couples. Equality proponents are doing their best to make sure that doesn't happen.

Greens Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young speaking in May 2015. Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images.

The Senate's stated goal is to pass a bill sometime this week. In the meantime, you can watch Hanson-Young's powerful, emotional speech below.

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Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

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Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

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