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The Australian senate rejected a marriage equality bill Thursday, just days before this weekend's large Mardi Gras celebration in Sydney.
According to The Age, the bill was defeated 45 to five, with one third of the senators absent from the vote in conscientious objection.
"But some of the senators who were absent from the chamber are uncomfortable with their party's official policies opposing a move to let gay couples marry," reported The Age.
Marriage equality advocates interpreted the absenteeism as tacit support for their cause.