The Australian Senate has passed a same-sex marriage bill.

Senators voted 43-12 for the bill, making it the first marriage equality bill to clear either federal chamber after more than 20 failed attempts.

Passage comes two weeks after the government announced results of a postal vote on whether it should extend marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples. An overwhelming majority (61.6%) of Australians who participated voted “yes.”

Supporters of the legislation defeated attempts to attach amendments to the bill aimed at undermining the rights of married gay couples.

Authored by out Liberal Senator Dean Smith, the bill was introduced the day after results of the postal vote were announced. Smith said that the lack of amendments showed the bill had achieved the right balance between equality and religious freedom.

Openly gay Senator Penny Wong said that passage sent a message to the LGBT community: “Your love is not lesser, and nor are you. It says you are one of us.”

Anna Brown, co-chair of the Equality Campaign, called the Senate vote “a huge victory for love, for equality and fairness, for the yes campaign and indeed all Australians who voted yes in support of [LGBT] Australians, our equality and our dignity.”

The legislation now heads to the House of Representatives, where it is expected to pass easily next week.