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Australian Capital Territory OKs marriage equality

CANBERRA, Australia -- Australian Capital Territory -- Australia's version of the District of Columbia in the U.S. -- on Tuesday made history as the first place in Australia to embrace marriage equality.

The ACT comprises Australia's capital of Canberra and 910 square miles of surrounding land with a population of about 360,000. The Australian state of New South Wales surrounds ACT.

On Tuesday, ACT's single-chamber Parliament voted 8-7 to legalize marriage for gay and lesbian couples. A Greens member and seven Labor members voted for the bill, and seven Liberals voted against it. Two members - one Labor and one Liberal - were absent for the vote.

The law, which is expected to be challenged to Australia's high court, would allow same-gender couples from all across the country to marry in ACT.

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