The majority voted in favour of a motion to keep the words "That this bill be now read a second time" unchanged. Liberal MP Sussan Ley had proposed to delete the words after "That" and replace them with:
That all words after “That” be omitted with a view to substituting the following words: “whilst not declining to give the bill a second reading, the House:
(1) affirms its commitment to the central importance of the institution of marriage to Australian society;
(2) nevertheless recognises that partners in same-sex relationships ought not to be discriminated against on the basis of their sexuality, and ought to be treated on a similar basis to partners in heterosexual de facto relationships;
(3) recognises the right of children who live in same-sex households not to be discriminated against; and
(4) notes that the Opposition has referred the bill to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee for reporting by September 30 with a view to ensuring that, in removing discrimination against people in same-sex relationships:
(a) the centrality of marriage is not devalued, whether by the use of inappropriate statutory language or otherwise;
(b) there is no unintended recognition of same sex marriage, including through amendments to the Migration Act 1961;
(c) the rights and status of children are properly protected; and
(d) the rights and status of people in interdependent relationships other than same-sex relationships are recognised and properly protected”.
MPs who voted "Aye" (Yes) disagreed with MP Ley's proposed new wording.
What does it mean to read a bill for a second time?
All bills have to be read three times: first to introduce the bill for discussion; second to decide if the majority agree with the main idea of the bill; and third to decide whether the majority will pass the bill or not so it can become law.
So a second reading vote is a vote on whether to agree with the main idea of the bill or not.