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A bill to legalise same-sex marriage has been overwhelmingly defeated in Australia’s House of Representatives reports The Age. The result of the vote was 42-98.

Leader of the House Anthony Albanese, who was among the Labour MPs to vote for the bill, told reporters a conscience vote among coalition MPs would have created a tighter result but he believed the bill still would have failed.

He added that "at some future time" the parliament would support gay marriage and said gay and lesbian people wanted marriage equality "not second best" in answer to whether the government would back civil unions.

The Labor backbencher who had proposed the bill, Stephen Jones, said the debate had been won in the Australian community but not in the parliament and gay marriage supporters to "maintain your rage".

"I'm quite confident in about 10 years' time some or all of us are going to be attending a wedding, a same-sex marriage, that will be both conducted and recognised here in Australia," Mr Jones said. "Change is inevitable, it is going to happen, the Australian community expects it." Mr Jones said he had not considered whether to support a civil unions bill.

The bill has caused huge controversy in the lead-up to the vote. Yesterday prominent Australian senator Cory Bernadi made the astonishing remark that same-sex marriage could be a step on the road to bestiality

"There are even some creepy people out there, who say that it's OK to have consensual sexual relations between humans and animals. Will that be a future step?" the senator warned.

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