The run up to the Australian parliament’s vote on legislation that would legalise same-sex marriage has been controversial. One senior MP had to after alleged comments that compared homosexuality to having sex with animals.

Despite the overwhelming support in favour of same-sex marriage from various pressure groups in the country, only 42 MPs ultimately supported the bill, with 98 MPs opposing it.

Although the outcome is disappointing for many supporters, frontbench MP Anthony Albanese who voted in favour of the bill stated the vote has still proved to be a significant step forward for same-sex rights.

However, same-sex marriage campaigners remain unhappy with the result. Head of pressure group, Parents of Lesbians and Gays, Shelly Argent, stated that it’s not fair for homosexual people to be viewed as “second rate” citizens.

The results of the vote may have turned out differently if the leader of the opposition, Mike Abbot, had allowed his Liberal Party a free vote on the issue. Liberal MP Malcolm Turnbull had previously spoken out in favour of legalised same-sex marriage, but was forced to vote against the bill.