On Thursday, Australia's House of Representatives approved a measure to redefine marriage as "a union of two people," not just a man and a woman, paving the way for the first same-sex marriage in February. The Senate had passed the measure last week, 43-12. The lower house of Parliament rejected all amendments, including ones on freedom of speech and religion, meaning the bill will become law as is after royal assent and some other formalities. Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull's government had introduced the bill after 62 percent of Australians voted in favor of same-sex marriage in an eight-week national poll; turnout was 79.5 percent of eligible voters, or 12.7 million people.

Scroll for 5 things you
need to know now