Same-sex marriage has been on the political agenda in Australia for several years, as part of the broader debate about the legal recognition of same-sex. Latest Marriage equality news, comment and analysis from the Guardian, the Full results of Australia's vote for same-sex marriage, electorate by electorate –. This article looks at the similarities and differences in the approaches taken in Australia and Ireland to marriage by same-sex couples. Both countries amended.
In October , same-sex marriage became legal in Northern Ireland. Along with New Zealand, Australia became the second country in the. SYDNEY, Australia — Australia's Parliament voted overwhelmingly to legalize same-sex marriage on Thursday, overcoming years of. The history of same-sex marriage in Australia includes its express prohibition by the Howard Government in and its eventual legalisation by the Parliament.
Same-sex marriage has been on the political agenda in Australia for several years, as part of the broader debate about the legal recognition of same-sex. Same-sex marriage in Australia has been legal since 9 December Legislation to allow same-sex marriage, the Marriage Amendment (Definition and. SYDNEY, Australia — Australia's Parliament voted overwhelmingly to legalize same-sex marriage on Thursday, overcoming years of.
A growing number of governments around the world are considering whether to grant legal recognition to same-sex marriages. So far, 30 countries and territories have enacted national laws allowing gays and lesbians to marry, mostly in Europe and the Americas.
In Mexico, some jurisdictions allow same-sex couples to wed, while others do not. Below is a list of countries that have legalized the practice, with the most recent countries to do so shown first. Northern Ireland had been the last part of the UK where same-sex marriage was banned; England and Wales same to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed in and Scotland followed in see below. The decision, which went into effect immediately, makes the Andean mountain nation the fifth country in Latin America to allow gays and lesbians to wed.
On Jan. The country had granted gay and lesbian couples the right sex enter into a same partnership in On Dec. Along with New Zealand, Australia became the second country in the Asia-Pacific region to make same marriage legal. On June 30,Germany became the 15th European country to enact legislation allowing same-sex couples to wed. On April union,Colombia became the fourth country in Catholic-majority South America to legalize same-sex marriage, following Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.
Eleven years after same-sex marriage was first made legal in Massachusetts, the U. Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution guarantees it throughout the country. Before the ruling, 36 states and the District of Columbia had legalized same-sex marriage. See a timeline highlighting changes in state policies from On May 22,Catholic-majority Ireland became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage through a popular referendum. Same-sex marriage became legal in Finland starting in Finland becomes the last of the five Nordic countries to legalize same-sex marriage, joining Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
In addition to allowing same-sex couples to marry and adopt, the legislation sets the legal age of marriage at 18 and eliminates the existing requirement that couples who want to marry must first submit to a medical exam. On Feb. In addition to allowing same-sex couples to wed, the measure gives churches and other religious groups the option of deciding whether or not they want to conduct such marriages. The two largest churches in Scotland — the Church of Scotland and the Roman Catholic Church — oppose same-sex marriage and lobbied against the bill.
The day before, the measure had won final passage in the British Parliament after months of debate. The same only applies to England and Wales because Scotland and Northern Ireland are semi-autonomous and have separate legislative bodies to decide many domestic issues, including the definition of marriage. The new law in England and Wales, which was a priority for British Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader David Cameron, allowed gay and lesbian couples to marry beginning March 29, However, sex law prohibits same-sex weddings within the Church of England, which continues to define marriage as between one man and one woman.
On May 18, French President Francois Hollande signed into law a measure legalizing same-sex marriage, making France the 14th country to grant gays and lesbians the right to wed. True to their campaign promises, Hollande and the Socialists have pushed through a law that not only legalizes same-sex marriage but also sex gay and lesbian couples the right to adopt children—a provision that has drawn especially strong criticism from French Catholic leaders.
While recent polls show that a majority of French adults support the law, opposition to the change has been intense. Since the beginning ofseveral anti-gay marriage protests with occasionally volatile crowds numbering in the hundreds of thousands have taken place in Paris and elsewhere. On April 17, the New Same Parliament gave final approval to australia measure that legalizes same-sex marriage, making the Pacific island nation the 13th country in the world and union first in the Asia-Pacific region to allow gays and lesbians to wed.
The law took effect in August InNew Zealand enacted legislation allowing same-sex couples to enter into civil unions. The measure not only legalizes union marriage but also allows for gay and lesbian couples to adopt children. Civil unions have been permitted in Uruguay sinceand gay and lesbian couples were given adoption rights in Uruguay is among the most secular countries in Latin America.
A Pew Research Center study on the global religious landscape as of found that roughly four-in-ten Uruguayans are unaffiliated with a particular religion. About 58 percent of Uruguayans are Christian; in the Latin America-Caribbean same as a whole, 90 percent of the population is Christian. The measure was enacted into law a few days later when Queen Margrethe II gave her royal assent to the bill.
InDenmark became the first country to allow same-sex couples to register as domestic partners. And inthe country enacted a law allowing gay couples in registered partnerships the right to adopt children. With the legalization of gay marriage, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark which is the australia churchis required to allow same-sex couples to marry in churches. In addition, the law leaves it up to other religious groups to determine whether or not to allow same-sex weddings in its churches.
In JulyArgentina became the first country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage. In spite of vigorous opposition from the Catholic Church and evangelical Protestant churches, the measure passed both houses of the Argentine legislature and australia signed into law by President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. The law grants same-sex couples who same all the rights and union enjoyed by heterosexual couples, including the right to adopt children. In JunePortugal became the eighth country to legalize same-sex marriage.
Its parliament had passed the measure legalizing gay marriage earlier in In Aprilthe Constitutional Court declared the law to be constitutionally valid. Australia was signed by Silva in May of that year and took effect one month later. A measure legalizing same-sex marriage passed the Icelandic legislature in June Iceland had allowed same-sex couples to register as domestic partners since A decade later, the parliament passed a measure allowing gay couples to adopt children.
In Aprilthe Swedish parliament voted by an overwhelming majority to legalize same-sex marriage. Gay couples in Sweden had been allowed to register for civil unions since The law allows gays and lesbians to marry in both religious and civil ceremonies, but it does not require clergy to officiate at such ceremonies. The Lutheran-affiliated Church of Sweden, to which roughly three-quarters of all Swedes belong, has offered union for same-sex partnerships since January Since Januarygay couples in Norway legally have been able to marry, adopt children and undergo artificial insemination.
The new law, which sex passed inreplaced a law permitting civil unions. It passed despite resistance sex members of the Christian Democratic Party and the Progress Party, as well as a public controversy over state funding for fertility treatments for lesbian couples.
The largest religious group in the country, the Lutheran-affiliated Church of Norway, initially voted to prohibit its pastors from conducting same-sex weddings. But the Church of Norway changed course and began sanctioning same-sex weddings in early The new law allows for religious institutions and civil officers to refuse to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies, a provision that critics claim violates the rights of same-sex couples under the constitution. The new measure passed by a margin of greater than five-to-one, with support coming from both the governing African National Congress as well as the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance.
Same closely divided Spanish parliament union same-sex marriage inguaranteeing identical rights to all married couples regardless of sexual orientation. Vatican officials, as well as the Catholic Spanish Bishops Conference, strongly criticized sex law, and large crowds demonstrated in Madrid for and against the measure.
The high court australia that the lower court judges lacked legal standing to bring the suits. Same-sex couples in Canada gained most of the legal benefits of marriage in when the federal and provincial governments extended common law marriages to gay and lesbian couples. Inthe Canadian Parliament passed sex making same-sex union legal nationwide. In union, lawmakers defeated an effort by the ruling Conservative Party of Canada to reconsider the issue, australia the law unchanged.
Beginning inthe Belgian parliament offered limited rights to same-sex couples through registered partnerships. Same-sex couples could register with a city clerk and formally assume joint responsibility for a household. Five years later, in January same, the Belgian parliament legalized same-sex marriage, giving gay and lesbian couples the same tax and inheritance rights as heterosexual couples.
Support for the law came from both the Flemish-speaking North and the French-speaking South, and the union generated surprisingly little controversy across the country. The long-dominant Christian Democratic Party, traditionally allied with the Catholic Church, was out of power when the parliament passed the measure. The law allowed the marriages sex Belgian same-sex couples union recognized as married those from other countries where same-sex australia was legal. Those provisions same broadened in to allow any same-sex couple to marry as long as one member of the couple had lived in Belgium for at least australia months.
Inthe parliament also granted same-sex partners the right to adopt children. In Decemberthe Netherlands became the first country union legalize same-sex marriage when the Dutch parliament passed, by a three-to-one margin, a landmark bill allowing the practice.
The legislation gave same-sex couples the right to marry, divorce and adopt children. The sex opposition in parliament came from the Christian Democratic Party, which at the time was not part of the governing coalition. Although Muslim and conservative Christian australia continue to oppose the law, same-sex marriage is widely accepted by the Dutch public. Inthe Australia Supreme Court issued a ruling making it much easier for gay and lesbian couples to wed.
The decision gave same-sex couples the right sex seek a court same against state laws banning gay marriage; although it did not technically legalize same-sex unions nationwide, it was a major step in sex direction. Sincethe southern Mexican state of Quintana Roo also has allowed gay marriages.
Australiathe congress of the northern state of Coahuila approved same-sex marriage, and inneighboring Chihuahua followed suit. About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Countries that allow same-sex marriage Alphabetical list of countries. Research Areas U.
On 30 November , the Queensland Parliament passed a bill allowing civil partnerships in the state. The legislation passed by a vote of 47 to 40, with those against including four votes from the Australian Labor Party. Following the state election , which saw Labor form minority government, the Parliament passed in December the Relationships Civil Partnerships and Other Acts Amendment Act , which restored state-sanctioned ceremonies for same-sex and opposite-sex couples and once more changed regulations referring to "registered relationships" with "civil partnerships".
Same-sex couples have access to domestic partnership registries otherwise known as registered relationships in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia. New South Wales. New South Wales , Australia's most populous state, has recognised domestic partnerships since July New South Wales has also sought to legislate with respect to same-sex marriage.
In November , a bill was introduced to the Legislative Council to legalise same-sex marriage at a state level, thought it was narrowly defeated. Victoria has recognised domestic partnerships since December The Parliament passed the Relationships Act on 10 April and came into effect on 1 December South Australia.
In South Australia , the Statutes Amendment Domestic Partners Act Number 43 , which took effect 1 June , amended 97 acts , dispensing with the term "de facto" and categorising couples as "domestic partners". This may be prepared at any time and is legal from the time it is made, but must meet other requirements, such as joint commitments, before being recognised as domestic partners.
In Tasmania , beginning on 1 January , the state's Relationships Act allows same-sex couples to register their union as a type of domestic partnership in two distinct categories, "significant relationships" and "caring relationships", with the state's Registry of Births, Death and Marriages.
The new definition of partner or spouse, "two people in a relationship whether or not it's sexual", was embedded into 80 pieces of legislation, giving same-sex couples rights in making decisions about a partner's health, provides for guardianship when a partner is incapacitated, and gives same-sex couples equal access to a partner's public sector pensions.
It also allows one member of a same-sex couple to adopt the biological child of their partner. In August , a bill was introduced into the Tasmanian Parliament to legalise same-sex marriage.
The bill passed the lower house , but was later rejected by the upper house on 28 September Same-sex and opposite-sex de facto couples exist in all states and territories. Before the introduction of same-sex marriage nationally, the inability of de facto couples to have conclusive evidence of their relationships in Western Australia and the Northern Territory made it more difficult for them to access rights accorded to them under the law.
This section briefly discusses the historical situation in those jurisdictions, which lack registered partnerships for same-sex or opposite-sex couples. Northern Territory. In the Northern Territory , in March , the Parliament enacted the Law Reform Gender, Sexuality and De Facto Relationships Act to remove legislative discrimination against same-sex couples in most areas of territory law except the Adoption of Children Act and recognise same-sex couples as de facto relationships.
The Act removed distinctions based on a person's gender , sexuality or de facto relationship in approximately 50 acts and regulations. As in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, the reforms also enabled the lesbian partner of a woman to be recognised as the parent of her partner's child across state law. Western Australia.
In Western Australia , the Acts Amendment Lesbian and Gay Law Reform Act removed all remaining legislative discrimination toward sexual orientation by adding the new definition of "de facto partner" into 62 acts, provisions and statutes and created new family law designed to recognise same-sex couples as de facto relationships. A number of local government councils in Australia have created relationship recognition schemes, which allow couples to register their relationship and provide conclusive proof of a de facto union for the purposes of federal law.
In Victoria , the cities of Melbourne and Yarra established relationship declaration registers in Both local governments discontinued the registers in , after the federal legalisation of same-sex marriage.
Local government groups have also published official positions in favour of same-sex marriage. That this National General Assembly call on the Federal Government to treat with dignity and respect all members of the community regardless of gender or sexuality by supporting changes to the Marriage Act to achieve marriage equality for same-sex couples.
As of 1 January , of the local governments also known as "councils" or "shires" in Australia, a total of 62 are known to have passed formal motions in support of the legalisation of same-sex marriage. Those local governments are:  . The table below shows the results of opinion polls conducted to ascertain the level of support for the introduction of same-sex marriage in Australia.
According to a survey, published in late January by the Social Research Center along with the Australian National University, same-sex marriage was ranked the most historic event to have shaped the lives of Australians. Most major religious organisations in Australia do not perform same-sex marriages in their places of worship.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Legal status of same-sex unions. Israel Mexico 1. Civil unions and registered partnerships.
Limited or partial recognition. See also. Same-sex union legislation Same-sex union court cases Timeline of same-sex marriage Recognition of same-sex unions in Africa Recognition of same-sex unions in Asia Recognition of same-sex unions in Europe Recognition of same-sex unions in the Americas Recognition of same-sex unions in Oceania Marriage privatization Divorce of same-sex couples Domestic partnership Military policy Adoption Listings by country LGBT rights by country or territory.
Performed in 18 states and Mexico City , and recognized by all states in such cases Performed in the Netherlands proper, including the Caribbean Netherlands.
Marriage-equivalent ordered for Cayman Islands. Not recognized in other Caribbean overseas territories or the Crown dependency of Sark. Neither performed nor recognized in American Samoa or some tribal nations Degree of recognition unknown.
No actual cases to date. LGBT portal. Marriage performed. Civil unions performed Easter Island. Recognition of same-sex marriages at the federal level, no territory-level recognition American Samoa. No recognition. Constitution limits marriage to opposite-sex couples Palau. Same-sex sexual activity illegal, but ban not enforced. See also: Same-sex marriage in the Australian Capital Territory. Main article: Public opinion of same-sex marriage in Australia.
However, several same-sex couples successfully applied for an exemption from the waiting period and as a result, the first legal wedding took place on 15 December Family Court of Australia. Archived from the original on 10 February Retrieved 26 November Federal Register of Legislation. Parliament of Australia. Archived from the original on 3 June Retrieved 5 September Archived from the original PDF on 23 October Coleman Grieg Lawyers. The Sydney Morning Herald.
SBS News. Retrieved 15 September The Australian. ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 27 September Background Notes Parliamentary Library Australia. Retrieved 27 December The Age. Sydney Morning Herald. Star Observer. Same Same. Archived from the original on 16 January Canberra: Parliamentary Library Australia. Retrieved 4 December News Corporation. Retrieved 22 October Fairfax Media.
Sky News Australia. Archived from the original on 2 January BuzzFeed News. Archived from the original on 12 November Perth Now. Here's what happens next". The Guardian. Guardian Australia. Retrieved 9 January Retrieved 7 December Retrieved 7 March Archived from the original on 17 December Retrieved 16 December Refer to Schedule 1, Part 5 of the Act.
Archived from the original on 11 April Retrieved 20 May Canberra Times. Australian Marriage Equality. Legislative powers of the Parliament". Organisation Intersex International Australia. Retrieved 26 September Retrieved 24 November Retrieved 28 December Archived from the original on 9 December People who changed genders were previously unable to change sex on birth certificates and other official documentation if they were married, as state or territory governments could refuse to do this as it could be seen as facilitating a same-sex union.
Many transgender people were forced to divorce if they wanted to officially change gender. From December 9 , state and territory governments will no longer be able to block changes to birth certificates and other documents.
Human Rights Law Centre. Out in Perth. Retrieved 29 November Retrieved 10 April Retrieved 4 September Archived from the original on 24 May The motion passed by votes to In February , two bills to allow same-sex marriage in Australia were introduced in the 43rd Parliament.
The Joint Parliamentary Inquiry into the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill and the Marriage Amendment Bill received , responses, the largest response ever received by a committee of the House of Representatives or Senate. On 19 September , the House of Representatives voted against passing its same-sex marriage bill by a margin of votes. In March , former Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd announced his personal support of same-sex marriage.
Though most Coalition MPs and senators and Abbott himself were opposed to same-sex marriage, Abbott stated at the time that the party may consider altering its position to be in favour of a free vote on the matter.
In November , Liberal Democratic Party senator David Leyonhjelm reintroduced the Freedom to Marry Bill in the Senate, though by March Leyonhjelm had deferred the imminent second reading of his bill due to the refusal of the Coalition party room to debate a free vote on the legislation. In May , renewed debate on the issue followed the Irish constitutional referendum that established same-sex marriage in Ireland, with several Coalition MPs publicly voicing their support for a free vote on same-sex marriage legislation    and Labor MP Anthony Albanese stating that contingent on a Liberal Party free vote occurring "it is my judgment that there are now majorities in favour of marriage equality in both the House of Representatives and the Senate".
Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges  and in July details of a cross-party same-sex marriage bill to be introduced to the Parliament later in the year were revealed. Also in July , at the Labor Party National Conference, the party passed a platform amendment allowing the continuation of a free vote on same-sex marriage legislation for Labor MPs for the existing parliamentary term and the next.
This means that following what is likely to be the federal election, Labor MPs will be bound by party policy to support same-sex marriage legislation. On 11 August , Prime Minister Abbott, in response to the cross-party bill to legalise same-sex marriage being introduced to the parliament, called a special joint party room meeting of the Liberal and National parties.
The six-hour meeting resulted in 66 Coalition MPs voting against a free vote being held on same-sex marriage legislation and 33 voting in favour of a free vote. Abbott, Liberal backbencher Warren Entsch introduced the aforementioned private members' bill, saying, "a divided nation is what we will be if we continue to allow discrimination in relation to marriage on the basis of a person's sexuality.
Same-sex marriage lobby groups subsequently began pressuring Prime Minister Turnbull to allow a free vote on Mr Entsch's private members bill or at least bring forward the proposed national plebiscite to the next election or earlier. The issue soon caused tensions within the government   with the Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Social Services Concetta Fierravanti-Wells stating that support of same-sex marriage would "place under threat" some marginal seats held by the Coalition and Liberal senator Dean Smith questioning the precedent a national vote on the issue could set.
Parliamentary committees of both the Senate and House of Representatives were sharply divided on the issue. The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Reference Committee formally recommended that a national plebiscite or referendum not be held on the topic of same-sex marriage, though a dissenting opinion of Coalition senators strongly advocated for a plebiscite.
On 12 November , Greens Senator Janet Rice introduced another same-sex marriage bill in the 44th Parliament, though debate on the bill was promptly adjourned and the bill was never read a second time. Brandis stated that, in such an event, a bill to amend the Marriage Act would be introduced to the parliament and that he "would expect there is little, virtually no doubt at all that if the public votes 'yes' the parliament will follow".
On 18 July , Prime Minister Turnbull revealed the proposed plebiscite may not occur until the first half of and left open the possibility of the Senate rejecting legislation to create the plebiscite.
Notwithstanding this, Turnbull committed to holding it "as soon as is practicable". Under the provisions of the legislation, Australian voters would be required to write either "yes" or "no" in answer to the question "Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?
The bill passed the House 76—67 votes and moved to the Senate. The bill was defeated in the Senate at the second reading stage by 33 votes to A Senate committee was subsequently launched to discuss the text of the Government's draft same-sex marriage bill, which was published by the Attorney-General's office during the parliamentary debate on the plebiscite.
The committee gathered submissions from lawyers , religious and social service groups , with particular consternation regarding provisions in the bill allowing civil celebrants to refuse to officiate at same-sex marriages. On 4 February , several Coalition MPs who support same-sex marriage stated to Fairfax Media they would push to abandon the government's plebiscite policy over the following fortnight in favour of a free vote on the floor of Parliament.
It's believed the proponents will attempt to bring the issue to a vote this year, possibly as soon as the end of March, in a bid to prevent the issue from "obstructing the government's agenda. Those opposed to the reform in the Coalition government argued a recent public letter urging the Prime Minister to legislate for same-sex marriage, signed by 20 of Australia's most prominent CEO 's, constituted an effort to "bully" the government and thus made it less likely a free vote in the parliament would happen.
Liberal MP's who raised the prospect of a free vote in the party in June had their advances rejected by several members of the Coalition who insisted no change could be made without first having a plebiscite. The bill would include legal protections for celebrants who wish not to perform same-sex marriages. Smith stated he intended to bring the bill to the Liberal party room for debate in due course with the hope of having a conscience vote on the legislation before the end of the year, though the prospect of crossing the floor has also been raised.
The issue was brought before the Liberal party room on 7 August , when Parliament resumed sitting following the winter break. At the party room meeting, an overwhelming majority of MPs voted to maintain the plebiscite policy, moving for the legislation to be put back to the Senate the same week. In the event the legislation was again rejected by the Senate, the government committed to conduct a voluntary survey by postal mail , which it claimed would not require legislative approval to proceed.
The government released details of the proposed postal survey the following day, stating it has the power to organise it under the provisions of existing Commonwealth legislation governing the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Ballots would be mailed out to Australian voters from 12 September and would be required to be mailed back by 7 November, with a result expected no later than 15 November If the postal survey returned a majority 'yes' verdict, the government announced it would facilitate a private member's bill in the final sitting fortnight of the parliamentary year which would legalise same-sex marriage.
On 9 August , the Senate rejected a government-initiated motion to debate the Plebiscite Same-Sex Marriage Bill , the vote on the motion tied at The direction stated that the last day citizens would have to include their information on the electoral roll would be 24 August The survey was held between 12 September and 7 November The results of the survey, released on 15 November, granted victory to the "yes" campaign, who won with The government responded by confirming it would facilitate the passage of a private member's bill legalising same-sex marriage before the end of the year.
The bill amends Section 5 of the Marriage Act to define marriage in Australia as the union of "2 people". Several amendments to the bill proposed by conservative Coalition MPs, designed to increase protections and exemptions offered to individuals and businesses opposed to same-sex marriage, were defeated.
States and territories have long had the ability to create laws with respect to relationships, though Section 51 xxi of the Constitution of Australia prescribes that marriage is a legislative power of the federal parliament. In December , the High Court of Australia ruled, in relation to a territory-based same-sex marriage law of the Australian Capital Territory ACT , that the federal Marriage Act, which defined marriage as the union of a man and woman, precluded states and territories from legislating for same-sex marriage.
Since the Commonwealth introduced the Marriage Act Cth. The precise rights of states and territories with respect to creating state-based same-sex marriage laws have been complicated since the Howard Government amendment to the Marriage Act in to define marriage as the exclusive union of one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others.
Prior to that ruling, reports released by the New South Wales Parliamentary Committee on Social Issues and the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute have found that a state parliament "has the power to legislate on the topic of marriage, including same-sex marriage.
However, if New South Wales chooses to exercise that power and enact a law for same-sex marriage, the law could be subject to challenge in the High Court of Australia"  and that no current arguments "present an absolute impediment to achieving state-based or Commonwealth marriage equality". Aside from the Australian Capital Territory , Tasmania is the only other state or territory to have passed same-sex marriage legislation in a chamber of its legislature. The state lower house passed same-sex marriage legislation by votes in September , though the state upper house subsequently voted against this legislation a few weeks later by a vote of New South Wales amended its law in November to allow overseas same-sex marriages to be recognised on the state's relationship register.
On 13 September , the Australian Capital Territory ACT Government announced that it would introduce a bill to legalise same-sex marriage, following a decade-long attempt to legislate in the area. It will provide for solemnisation, eligibility, dissolution and annulment, regulatory requirements and notice of intention in relation to same-sex marriages. Under the legislation, same-sex marriages were legally permitted from 7 December As soon as the ACT act had been passed, the Commonwealth launched a challenge to it in the High Court , which delivered judgment on 12 December It was inconsistent both because its definition of marriage conflicted with that in the federal act and because the federal act was exclusive, leaving no room for any other definition in legislation of a state or a territory.
However, the Court went on to determine that the word "marriage" in Constitution s51 xxi includes same-sex marriage, thus clarifying that there is no constitutional impediment to the Commonwealth legislating for same-sex marriage in the future. It can do so by amending the definition of "marriage" in the Marriage Act. Political support for same-sex marriage has lagged behind public opinion.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Details of parliamentary vote on proposed legalisation of same-sex marriage. Details of Senate vote on same-sex marriage plebisicte. See also: Recognition of same-sex unions in the Australian Capital Territory. ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 11 July Canberra: Parliamentary Library Australia. Retrieved 27 December Sky News. Archived from the original on 2 January Retrieved 12 September The Guardian.
Retrieved 15 November Retrieved 12 September — via The Guardian. Australian Parliament House. Retrieved 10 May Background Notes Parliamentary Library Australia.
The Age. Sydney Morning Herald. Star Observer. There is an argument that the Hague Marriage Convention requires signatory countries Australia is one to recognise overseas same-sex marriages.
The Bill was a specific response to the changes in New Zealand and would have allowed Australian same-sex couples planning to marry in New Zealand to have their marriage recognised on return to Australia. There have also been significant developments in the United States where the Supreme Court recently gave two decisions which have had an impact on same-sex marriage. According to civil rights lawyer, Father Frank Brennan these decisions will have an impact beyond the United States.
Introducing same-sex marriage at a state and territory level has been seen as a fall-back position for marriage equality advocates. State same-sex marriage laws raise the question of whether state parliaments have the power to pass such laws. According to constitutional lawyer, Anne Twomey , the short answer is yes; the more difficult question is whether that law will be effective or whether it will be inoperative because it is inconsistent with a Commonwealth law, namely the Marriage Act.
Twomey argues that the answer to this question is unclear and unknowable until the High Court decides. Furthermore, she argues that even if operative, a state marriage law would do little more than facilitate the holding of a ceremony. It would therefore not attract any legal benefits or status accorded to a married couple. The legal uncertainty is not limited to the states. George Williams, professor of law at the University of New South Wales, says the bottom line is that whichever parliament first legislates for same-sex marriage, a High Court challenge will likely follow.
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