LGBT rights in Australia
|LGBT rights in Australia|
|Same-sex sexual activity legal?||Legal nationwide since 1997|
|Military service||Gays and lesbians allowed to serve openly since 1992|
|Discrimination protections||(see below)|
|Unregistered cohabitation in most areas of Australian law
Registered partnerships in ACT, New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania and Victoria
|Adoption||Varies by region (see below)|
The recognition and rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) individuals and couples in Australia have gradually been increasing within the states and territories since the 1970s. Laws regarding sexual activity apply equally to same-sex and heterosexual activity in all Australian states and territories, except Queensland, where there is an unequal age of consent for anal sex. Every state and territory legally recognises both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships as de facto couples and also legally recognises lesbian co-mothers as birth parents of children conceived through in vitro fertilisation or artificial insemination. In the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania and Victoria there are domestic partnership registries, while the other states and territories recognise de facto same-sex couples. Same-sex couples are allowed to jointly adopt children in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Western Australia, and may adopt their partner's stepchild in Tasmania. In all other states except South Australia, LGBT people are allowed to adopt individually.
At the federal or Commonwealth level, marriage has been explicitly defined as a union between a man and a woman since 2004, when the Marriage Amendment Act was passed. However, since 1 July 2009, same-sex couples receive the same level of recognition as de facto opposite-sex couples in federal legislation including tax, health, superannuation, and aged care.
LGBT history and activism
History of Australian LGBT rights
Change in public opinion, leadership and policy
- 71% of respondents agreed that same-sex partners should have the same legal rights as de facto heterosexual couples.
- 57% of respondents supported same-sex marriage. The poll suggests a 20-point jump in support since 2004, when Newspoll found 38% in favour and 44% against.
In November 2007, the Liberal/National Coalition, led by John Howard, lost to the Australian Labor Party in the 2007 national federal election. Penny Wong (Labor) became the first openly gay member of a ministry. The Labor Government, led by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, openly supported rights for same-sex couples, but not same-sex marriage. Liberal leader Brendan Nelson said he supported equal economic and social rights for gay couples, but not marriage, adoption or IVF.
In 2008, federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland announced that they had gone beyond the 58 pieces of discriminatory legislation found by a recent HREOC inquiry, and that legislation to remove inequalities in 100 areas of the law would be introduced, giving gay couples the same treatment as heterosexual de facto couples with respect to federal legislation and services such as social security and veterans affairs.
Attempts in the ACT to offer civil unions for same-sex couples were attempted again under the new Labor federal government in 2008, but were again threatened to be disallowed. However, the federal government has stated that it is willing to accept state-based relationship registers so long as they don't mimic marriage by allowing a ceremony. In May, the ACT settled for creating a relationship registry similar to Tasmania and Victoria.
In May 2008, a survey of 15,000 women aged 20 and above by the Australian Women's Weekly found that more than 70% said same-sex couples should have the same rights as heterosexual couples. This is consistent with the nationwide Galaxy poll results from June 2007.
In 2009, a state-wide Galaxy poll commissioned by a coalition of gay rights groups in January found a majority of Queenslanders supported civil unions, marriage and full legal recognition of same-sex parents. The poll found that 60 per cent of Queenslanders believed same-sex couples should be able to have a civil union with the same legal rights and responsibilities as marriage, and 54 per cent believed same-sex couples should be able to marry.
A nationwide Galaxy poll was conducted in June for Australian Marriage Equality which measured the opinions of 1100 Australians aged 16 or older. The poll found that 60% of Australians would support same-sex marriage, with 36% opposed. It also found that 58% of Australians would support the recognition of same-sex marriages formed in other countries in Australian law. The results suggested that support was strongest in New South Wales and weakest in Queensland and South Australia, though a majority in all states were in support.
The ALP's national policy, as of 2009, supports state-based relationship registers for same-sex couples, not marriage. But in July 2009, a motion was passed at the ALP's Tasmanian state conference calling on the federal government to remove discrimination against gay and lesbian couples by changing the Marriage Act to include same-sex couples. At the ALP national conference in Sydney a few days later, the federal government refused to change its position on same-sex marriage and registers, but agreed to remove the explicit definition of marriage being between a man and a woman from its national platform.
The 2010 Galaxy Poll on same sex marriage
In October 2010, Galaxy Research conducted another poll commissioned by the organisation Australian Marriage Equality and Parents and Friends of Gays and Lesbians, asking respondents whether or not they supported same-sex marriage and whether they supported a conscience vote on same-sex marriage in Federal Parliament. The poll demonstrated a trend towards growing support of same-sex marriages in Australia, with 62% of respondents claiming to support same-sex marriages (with 33% against and 5% unsure). Support for same-sex marriage was strongest among the younger generations, with 80% of 18-24 year olds in favour of allowing same-sex marriage. Contrastingly, 46% of respondents aged 50 or over were in support of same-sex marriage. The poll found that respondents who were supporters of The Greens were most in favour of legalising same-sex marriage (81% in favour), followed by Labor supporters (78% in favour), with the supporters of the Liberal Party coalition the least supportive of same-sex marriage (48% in favour). Respondents with higher household incomes were more likely to support same-sex marriage, and white collar workers were found to be slightly more supportive than blue collar workers. 78% of respondents responded positively to the second question regarding whether or not a conscience vote on same-sex marriage should be held in Federal Parliament
Current Australian activist groups
- National Australian Coalition for Equality
- National Australian Marriage Equality
- National The Proud Life
- National Equal Love
- National Organization Intersex International Australia Ltd
- Australian Capital Territory A Gender Agenda
- New South Wales Gay and Lesbian Immigration Task Force (NSW) Inc.
- New South Wales The Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby
- New South Wales Community Action Against Homophobia
- Queensland Action Reform Change Queensland (ARCQ)
- South Australia Lets Get Equal
- Tasmania Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group
- Victoria Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby
- Victoria Gay and Lesbian Immigration Taskforce (Vic)
- Victoria TransGender Victoria
- Victoria Zoe Belle Gender Centre
- Western Australia Gay and Lesbian Equality
- Western Australia Pride Western Australia
Anti-discrimination and legal recognition
Same-sex relationships are legally recognised in federal legislation, and are afforded a broad range of rights, but federal (Commonwealth) laws do not allow same-sex couples to legally marry.
Australia does not comprehensively outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation at the federal level. However, in response to Australia's agreement to implement the principle of non-discrimination in employment and occupation pursuant to the International Labour Organisation Convention No.111 (ILO 111), the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) Act established the HREOC in 1986, and empowers it to investigate complaints of discrimination in employment and occupation on various grounds, including sexual orientation, and to resolve such complaints by conciliation. If it cannot be conciliated, the Commission prepares a report to the federal Attorney-General who then tables the report in Parliament. Employment discrimination on the ground of "sexual preference" is also rendered unlawful in the Fair Work Act 2009, allowing complaints to be made to the Fair Work Ombudsman.
The Human Rights (Sexual Conduct) Act 1994 provided that sexual conduct involving only consenting adults (18 years or over) acting in private would not be subject to arbitrary interference by law enforcement. This applies to any law of the Commonwealth, State or Territory.
In late 2010, the Gillard Labor Government announced that it is undertaking a review of federal anti-discrimination laws, with the aim of introducing a single equality act that would include sexual orientation and gender identity.
Immigration and sponsorship
In 1985, changes were made to the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) due to pressure from the Gay and Lesbian Immigration Task Force (GLITF). An interdependency visa was specifically created for same-sex couples, allowing Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents to sponsor their same-sex partners to Australia. Unlike married couples, de facto and interdependent partners must be able to prove a twelve month committed relationship. The temporary and permanent visas (Subclasses 310 and 110) allow the applicant to live, work, study and receive Medicare benefits in Australia.
In 1992, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) ended its prohibition on openly gay or lesbian members serving in the military. The ADF also recognises "interdependent relationships", which include same-sex relationships, regarding benefits available to active duty members. This means equal benefits in housing, moving stipends, education assistance and leave entitlements. To be recognised as interdependent, same-sex partners will have to show they have a "close personal relationship" that involves domestic and financial support. The ADF also gives equal access to superannuation and death benefits for same-sex partnerships. Under the Human Rights Commission Act 1986, discrimination or harassment on the grounds of sexual orientation, be it heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality, is prohibited. ADF members or APS employees are not to be asked about their sexual orientation, nor is sexual orientation, or alleged sexual orientation, to be adversely taken into consideration in promotion, posting or career development decisions.
The DEFGLIS (Defence Force Gay and Lesbian Information Service) is an unofficial organisation of Regular, Reserve and Civilian members of the Australian Defence Organisation (ADO) who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, intersex and transgender (GLBIT) and allies.
Civil union proposals
In 2006 the government of the ACT, led by Chief Minister Jon Stanhope, legislated for same-sex civil unions within the ACT. The legislation was overturned by the federal government with Philip Ruddock saying Stanhope was deliberately baiting them. Ruddock received criticism from the Greens party, but claimed that the ACT's policy was not for civil unions but for marriage which was legally defined within The Marriage Legislation Amendment Bill.
In Australia, civil celebrants conduct commitment ceremonies so that gay and lesbian couples can participate in a ceremony to acknowledge their love and partnership. The federal government however has introduced a registration system whereby prospective celebrants must undergo Government-approved, accredited training and meet specific criteria set by the Attorney-General's Department to be declared a "fit and proper person" to hold the office of "marriage celebrant". Under the new rules a registered celebrant is not permitted to conduct legally binding commitment ceremonies for same-sex couples, although they may conduct non-legally binding ceremonies as long as both the couple and those attending are under no illusion that the ceremony is a legal marriage.
In 2007, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said that the Government wanted to ensure same-sex couples had non-discriminatory access to tax, social security and inheritance entitlements, via nationally consistent laws and registers of relationships. In December 2007, Rudd stated that the Government would be working on a national relationship register, similar to the one in Tasmania, which would officially record an existing same-sex relationship. Neither Rudd nor the Labor Party endorse the more controversial step of approving same-sex marriage or civil unions. Since then, the policy expressed by federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland has been to encourage all states and territories to create their own state-based relationship registers, based on Tasmania's model, while the federal government amends Commonwealth legislation to recognise these registered relationships. As of 2011 only Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria, Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales have implemented registered relationships.
HREOC inquiry and reforms
Following threats of disallowance of the proposed ACT civil unions legislation and subsequent complaints of discriminatory treatment, a national inquiry was launched by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) in April 2006, which investigated financial and work-related discrimination toward same-sex relationships. On 21 June 2007, the HREOC released its 'Same-Sex: Same Entitlements' report. The Commission identified 58 Commonwealth law statutes and provisions that explicitly discriminate against same-sex couples and, in some cases, their children, by using the term 'member of the opposite sex'.
In February 2008, Attorney-General Robert McClelland said that his department had gone beyond the HREOC 58, identifying a total of 100 laws that discriminate against same-sex couples and hoped to see some kind of action by the middle of the year. On 16 April, the Rudd government was considering delaying the reforms (an estimated A$400million over 4 years) until 2009. This estimate fell considerably short of the projected A$1billion the Howard government believed the law reform would cost. However two weeks later on 30 April 2008, federal Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, announced that legislation to remove inequalities in 100 areas of the law would be introduced when Parliament resumes in May for the winter sittings. The proposed legislation would afford same-sex couples the same treatment as heterosexual de facto couples, with a delayed implementation in areas like social security and veterans affairs to be completed by mid-2009. Other areas to be reformed included health, aged care, veterans' entitlements, workers' compensation, employment and entitlements. All the changes would be operational by the middle of 2009; most will begin as soon as legislation is passed.
The superannuation bill was expected to pass the Senate before 1 July, however the Coalition established an inquiry to look at whether the reforms should include people in other forms of interdependent relationships. Several conservative MPs moved to stop the plan, warning that replacing the terms "husband and wife" with "partner" could undermine the traditional role of marriage. Liberal MP Stuart Robert warned that by replacing references to a "marital relationship" with a "couple relationship" in the super laws, it may "slowly chip away at the institution of marriage". He also opposed moves in the bill to give inheritance rights to the children of a non-biological gay parent. The coalition has used its Senate majority to delay legislation removing same-sex discrimination from commonwealth laws until the end of September.
Social Security Act 1991
From 1 July 2009 changes to legislation will mean that customers who are in a same-sex de facto relationship will be recognised as partnered for Centrelink and Family Assistance Office purposes. All customers who are assessed as being a member of a couple will have their rate of payment calculated in the same way.
Inheritance and property rights
Without the automatic legal protections that married couples receive under the law with regard to inheriting assets from their partners, same sex couples have had to take specific legal actions. Individuals are not entitled to a partial pension if their same-sex partner dies. Gay and de facto couples who separate did not have the same property rights as married couples under federal law and were required to use more expensive state courts, rather than the Family Court, to resolve disputes. The plan to grant equivalent rights to gays and de factos had been up for discussion since 2002, and all states eventually agreed, but the change was blocked because the Howard government insisted on excluding same-sex couples.
In June 2008, the Rudd Government introduced the Family Law Amendment (De Facto Financial Matters and Other Measures) Bill 2008 to allow same-sex and de facto couples access to the federal Family Court on property and maintenance matters, rather than the state Supreme Court. This reform was not part of the 100 equality measures promised by the Government but stem from a 2002 agreement between the states and territories that the previous Howard Government did not fulfill. Coalition amendments to the bill failed and it was passed in November 2008.
State and territory level
Same-sex couples, in the ACT, New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania and Victoria may enter into a "registered relationship" (called "civil partnerships" in the ACT and Queensland and "significant relationships" in Tasmania). This provides conclusive proof of the existence of the relationship, thereby gaining the same rights afforded to de facto couples under state and federal law without having to prove any further factual evidence of the relationship. In this way, a registered relationship is similar to a registered partnership or civil union in other parts of the world. In South Australia same-sex couples can prove their relationship through an agreement, known as the Domestic Partnership Agreement. In Western Australia, Norfolk Island and the Northern Territory, same-sex couples often must go to court to prove a relationship exists.
The inability of same sex couples to have conclusive evidence of their relationships can make it difficult for them to access rights accorded to them under the law. In November 2007, with the Labor party winning a large number of seats in all levels of government, debate about civil partnership(s) was re-introduced.
All states and territories of Australia (except for Queensland), have age of consent legislation that applies equally regardless whether the participants are male or female, same-sex or opposite-sex. All states, territories and on the federal level are at the age of 16, except for Tasmania and South Australia, where it is 17. Queensland's age of consent is 16, however it still has a "sodomy law" in their statutes dating back to 1990, punishing anal sex involving any person under 18 with up to 14 years in prison.
|Official relationship status||Anti-discrimination legislation||Pending legislation|
|New South Wales||Domestic Partnership (Registry)||–|
|Northern Territory||Defined as 'De facto', no registry||–|
|South Australia||Domestic Partnership (Agreement)||Assisted Reproductive Treatment (Equality of Access) Amendment Bill 2012
Marriage Equality Bill 2012
Civil Partnership Bill
|Tasmania||Registered Partnership (Registry)||–|
|Victoria||Domestic Partnership (Registry)||–|
|Western Australia||Defined as 'De facto', no registry||–|
The ACT Discrimination Act 1991 prohibits discrimination based on sexuality and gender identity (as well as other grounds) in: access to premises; membership or services of a club; access to or membership of a professional or trade organisation; provision of goods, services or facilities; accommodation; partnerships and qualifying bodies; education; requests for information; work and employment. Its also unlawful to discriminate against same-sex parents in relation to their employment entitlements, hence enabling same-sex parents to access parental leave. The first legislation to officially recognise same-sex couples in the ACT was the Domestic Relationship Act 1994.
Six extra acts came into force that was passed by the Jon Stanhope Government between 2003 and 2004 to get rid of all discrimination against same sex couples – including parentage, IVF access and adoption.
Multiple attempts were made by the ACT to recognise Civil Partnerships starting in 2006 under Chief Minister Jon Stanhope. The Civil Unions Act 2006, which created civil unions for same-sex and opposite-sex couples and made them legally equivalent to marriage, was enacted on 9 June 2006, but quickly disallowed by the Governor-General on 13 June 2006. A second ACT bill, the Civil Partnerships Bill 2006, was blocked again in February 2007.
In May 2008, after several attempts to amend the scheme, the Territory abandoned its civil partnerships legislation and settled for a system of relationship registers virtually identical to the ones operating in Tasmania and Victoria. The Civil Partnerships Act 2008 commenced on 19 May 2008, giving same-sex couples increased access to superannuation, taxation and social security law reforms. While legislative ceremonies were removed from the Bill, an administrative ceremony may be performed by a representative the ACT Register-General.
The Civil Partnerships Amendment Bill 2009, presented to the ACT Legislative Assembly by the ACT Greens, was passed in November 2009, allowing ceremonies to be conducted with civil partnerships, which was the contentious item removed from last years' legislation. This made the ACT the first territory in the country to formally legalise civil partnerships ceremonies for gay couples.
In August 2012, the ACT Civil Union Bill passed after it legal advice showed that the Federal government removed its ability to legislate for territorial and state same-sex marriage after it defined marriage as only between man and woman in the Marriage Amendment Act 2004. The Civil Union bill grants the same rights to same-sex couples as people married under the Marriage Act. The local government has also announced that they are working with the state of Tasmania to introduce a marriage equality bill in the ACT.
New South Wales
In March 2004, the Northern Territory enacted the Law Reform (Gender, Sexuality and De Facto Relationships) Act 2003 to remove legislative discrimination against same sex couples in all areas of territory law – except adoption. The Act removed distinctions based on a person's gender, sexuality or de facto relationship in approximately 50 Acts and Regulations. As in NSW, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia, the ACT and the federal government reforms has also included enabling the lesbian partner of a woman to be recognised as the parent of their partner’s child across Northern Territory law under section 5(da) of the Status of Children Act (this is called "parentage"). Members of the Legislative Assembly in the Northern Territory can take their same-sex partners with them on overseas trips at taxpayer expense, the territorial Remuneration Tribunal ruled on 9 December 2003. The tribunal redefined a de facto spouse as a "person who is not married to the Member, but is in a marriage-like relationship with the Member."
Despite the federal government passing legislation decriminalising gay male sexual conduct in 1994, it wasn't until 1996 when the law in Tasmania prohibiting gay male sexual conduct was overturned by the High Court of Australia. Finally in April 1997 the Tasmanian Liberal Party government presented a law reform bill de-criminalising homosexuality; the bill was passed on the evening of 1 May 1997 making Tasmania the last state to decriminalise gay male sexual conduct.
The Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Act 1998 prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation (and other characteristics) in: employment; education and training; provision of facilities, goods and services; accommodation (including residential and business); membership and activities of clubs; and administration of any law of State or any State program.
Tasmania's Relationship Act 2003 provides for registration and recognition of a type of registered partnership in two distinct categories: Significant Relationships and Caring Relationships. These relationships provide a limited number of rights in the areas of Superannuation, Taxation, Insurance, Health Care, Hospital Visitation, Wills, Property Division, and Employment Conditions (such as parenting and bereavement leave).
The Relationships (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2003 was debated at the same time as the Relationships Bill 2003. Approximately 70 Tasmanian Statutes were identified that discriminated against same sex and other non-traditional relationships, and this bill would have amended discriminatory relationships legislation by removing narrow definitions of ‘de facto spouse’ or ‘partner’ and replaced them with gender neutral definitions to include same sex partners. It failed to pass.
The Greens' Nick McKim tabled the Same-Sex Marriage Bill on 1 July 2008 which would have made Tasmania the first place in the country to let same-sex couples marry. The Government and Opposition voted down a previous attempt by the Greens to allow gay marriages. A Senate inquiry in November 2009 rejected the bill.
Western Australia passed The Equal Opportunity Act 1984 which includes "sexual orientation/sexuality/gender identity", making it illegal to discriminate in clubs, pubs, other establishments, restaurants, housing, memberships to establishments, goods and services, education and training, etc.
The Acts Amendment (Lesbian and Gay Law Reform) Act 2002 removed all remaining legislative discrimination toward sexual orientation by adding the new definition of "de facto partner" into 62 Acts, provisions and statutes. Western Australia allows same-sex couples equal access to adoption procedures and in vitro fertilisation treatment. It also gives same-sex couples the same rights as opposite sex couples in areas such as transfer of property, medical treatment, and inheritance upon the death of a partner. A same-sex couple who utilise artificial insemination or 'in vitro' fertilisation treatment together (i.e., both parties present as a couple throughout the treatment) are able to have both names on the birth certificate once the child is born.
Adoption and laws relating to having children
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Other areas of LGBT rights
The Australian Red Cross Blood Service bans blood donations from men who have had sex with men (MSM) in the previous twelve months. Several other countries also have MSM bans ranging from one year to lifetime or permanent deferral. The policy was challenged in 2005 with the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Tribunal. Four years later in May 2009, the tribunal dismissed the complaint saying that it was "unsubstantiated".
In 2009, the Australian Labor Party removed the explicit definition of marriage being between a man and a woman from its national platform. As of their 2011 national conference, they officially changed their policy to support same-sex marriage. Despite the party's official platform, members are permitted a conscience vote if the matter comes before parliament.
The Liberal Party of Australia is a socially conservative party, although it has a minority socially liberal wing. In recent years, under John Howard, it has moved to a more conservative policy agenda.
The Australian Greens, a socially liberal minority party formed in 1992, has declared its support for equal marriage rights, equal adoption rights, equal access to IVF treatment and legal recognition of civil unions regardless of sexuality or gender identity in Australia.
The National Party of Australia is a socially conservative party that opposes LGBT adoption, same-sex marriage, IVF, civil unions, and is opposed to most if not all legal rights for same-sex couples. In 1984, the National Party leader Ian Sinclair criticised the Labor party for accepting homosexuality as normal, which he claimed resulted in the spread of AIDS.
The Family First Party, a minor political party, emphasises socially conservative family values. Family First opposes LGBT adoption, IVF treatment for lesbians, and opposes same-sex marriage and civil unions, stating their declaration of marriage as "a union of a man and a woman".
The Christian Democratic Party, a minor conservative political party established in 1977, concentrates almost exclusively on moral issues such as abortion, homosexuality and pornography, and has recently made opposition to same-sex marriage a major part of its platform.
The Democratic Labor Party (DLP) is a minor, socially conservative political party in Australia that opposes same-sex rights and same-sex marriage.
Peter Jensen, Archbishop of the Evangelical Anglican Diocese of Sydney, has vigorously opposed homosexuality, stating that accepting homosexuality is "calling holy what God called sin." Leaders of the Anglican Church of Australia have called for the removal of the proposed ACT Civil Union legislation, because they "believe this proposal actually threatens and compromises the traditional Christian view of marriage between a man and a woman."
The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell, the Catholic Church according to George Pell believes and teaches that sexual activity should be confined to married couples, a man and a woman, and opposes all extra-marital sexual activity. The Catholic Church will continue to oppose legitimizing any extra-marital sexual activity, including homosexual activity. It will also continue to oppose homosexual propaganda especially among young people he states.
The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, considered Australia's most important Islamic organisation, came out strongly against removing discrimination against same-sex partners in federal law. Chairman Ikebal Patel said such moves would threaten the "holy relationship" of marriage between a man and woman/a man and several women and the core values of supporting families.
The Salt Shakers is a Christian Ethics Action Group based in Melbourne, Victoria. It includes people from a number of Christian denominations and provides resources to Christians and churches. They also operate in the public arena by consulting, lobbying and presenting a Christian perspective on issues affecting society. This includes sending press releases, giving interviews for current affairs and other programs, making submissions to government, monitoring TV standards. They believe homosexuality is a sin.
The Christian organization Exclusive Brethren ran full page advertisements in various newspapers to criticizse Tasmanian Greens' pro-Gay policies such as same-sex marriage, LGBTgay adoption and fostering (something already partially recognized by Tasmanian law) in the lead up to the 2006 Tasmanian State Election.
Gender Matters is a coalition of seventeen groups and organisations formed in October 2008, including the Australian Family Association, the National Alliance for Christian Leaders, Exodus, the Fatherhood Foundation and Salt Shakers, promoting traditional gender roles. Some of their demands include: That marriage be “forever preserved as the voluntary exclusive union of one man and one woman”; That adoption be restricted to heterosexual couples; That IVF and other reproductive technologies are reserved exclusively for heterosexuals; And a ban on same-sex civil unions and registers.
Since 2003, the Uniting Church in Australia has allowed sexually active gay and lesbian people to be ordained as ministers, with each individual presbyteries given discretion to decide the matter on a case-by-case basis.
The Progressive Jewish community in Australia broadly supports LGBT rights, whereas the Orthodox branches are less accommodating, taking a staunchly conservative approach. On 5 June 2007 the Council of Progressive Rabbis of Australia, New Zealand, and Asia overturned their ban on same-gender commitment ceremonies. Nearly 4 years later, on 19 May 2011 the Rabbinic Council of Progressive Rabbis of Australia, Asia and New Zealand announced their support for marriage equality under Australian law. This news was broadly publicised via a media release issued by Australian Marriage Equality on 25 May 2011.
2013 legal situation regarding the recognition of relationships in Australia
|Same-sex marriage||De facto relationships status||Registered relationships status||Anti-discrimination legislation||Adoption and foster parenting||Recognition of parents on birth certificate||Access to fertility (such as ART, IVF, surrogacy, AI, etc.)|
|Commonwealth of Australia||(family law)||(family law - but not the Marriage Act 1961 banned gay marriage since 2004)||(employment only)||(family law)||(family law)||(family law)|
|New South Wales||(proposed)|
|Queensland||(under review)||(under review)|
|South Australia||(proposed)||(domestic partnership agreement)||(under review)||(banned if infertile, under review)|
|Tasmania||(stepchild adoption only, under review)|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: LGBT in Australia|
- Recognition of same-sex unions in Australia
- Adoption in Australia
- Human rights in Australia
- Timeline of LGBT history
- LGBT adoption
- LGBT parenting
- Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands
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- Green, Jessica (11 November 2009). "Australian territory legalises gay civil partnership ceremonies". Pink News. Retrieved 18 November 2009.
- ACT Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages – How to enter into a Civil Partnership
- "Assembly passes civil unions reforms". Canberra Times.
- "ACT partnering with Tas on gay marriage proposal". ABC News. 23 August 2012.
- "Status of Children Act". Austlii.edu.au. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- "Anti-Discrimination Act 2007". Austlii. Retrieved 8 May 2008.
- "Anti-Discrimination Act". Department of Justice. Retrieved 3 September 2007.[dead link]
- "Anti-Discrimination Act 1998". Austlii. Retrieved 8 May 2008.
- "Tasmania Relationship Registry". Justice.tas.gov.au. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- "Report on Amendment to the Relationships (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2003" (PDF). Parliament of Tasmania. Retrieved 13 May 2008.
- "Relationships (Consequential Amendments) Bill 49 of 2003". Austlii. Retrieved 13 May 2008.
- "Government to again oppose gay marriage". ABC News. 1 July 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
- "Rallies protest gay marriage rejection". The Sydney Morning Herald url=http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/rallies-protest-gay-marriage-rejection-20091128-jxro.html. 28 November 2009.
- "Same-Sex Marriage Bill" (PDF). Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- "A Bill providing for registers of same-sex marriages and same-sex marriage celebrants" (PDF). Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- "Part V--Jurisdiction in matrimonial causes" (PDF). Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- The Age Tasmania is the logical 'first mover' on marriage equality August 6, 2012 Retrieved on 7 August 2012
- "EQUAL OPPORTUNITY ACT 1984". Austlii.edu.au. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- "Gays test Red Cross blood ban, by Erin O'Dwyer (October 9, 2005)". The Sun Herald. 9 October 2005. Retrieved 3 September 2007.
- "Kissing Qualifies as Sex". Sydney Star Observer. 23 August 2008. Retrieved 6 December 2008.
- Carter, Paul (27 May 2009). "Gay blood donor's complaint against Red Cross dismissed". News.com.au. Retrieved 29 May 2009.
- "Red Cross Donation Policy". Donateblood.com.au. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- "Sexuality and Gender Identity | Australian Greens". Greens.org.au. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- Sendziuk, Paul (2003). Learning to trust: Australian responses to AIDS. Sydney: UNSW Press. p. 58. ISBN ISBN 0868407186. Retrieved 5 October 2009.
- Zwartz, Barney (3 February 2006). "Church imperilled by gays: archbishop". The Age (Melbourne). Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- "Church call to scrap gay union". News.com.au. 3 April 2006. Retrieved 3 September 2007.[dead link]
- "Pell backs discrimination against gays". Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
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- "The Salt Shakers And Homosexuality". The Salt Shakers. Archived from the original on 3 May 2008. Retrieved 1 May 2008.
- Paine, Michelle (16 March 2006). "Church group challenged over 'negative' ads". News.com.au. Retrieved 3 September 2007.[dead link]
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- "Rabbis Marriage Equality Statement". Retrieved 16 September 2011.
- "Rabbis give strong support to same-sex marriage". Retrieved 16 September 2011.
History and Activism
- Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives
- Living Out Loud: A History of Gay and Lesbian Activism in Australia by Graham Willett, ISBN 1-86448-949-9, 2000.
- Mapping Homophobia In Australia Study
- Queen City of the South Melbourne Queer History radio series
Adoption and Parenting
- Gay Dads Australia Surrogacy Guide
- Same Sex Couple Adoption: The Situation in Canada and Australia Parliament of Australia
- NSW Law Reform Commission Report, 1988 – Artificial Conception: In Vitro Fertilization
- Same Sex Parenting by Paul Boers, Senior Associate of Dimocks Family Lawyers. FindLaw.com (April 2005)
- Australia National Laws
- Federal and State Anti-Discrimination Law
- Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Relationships Briefing Paper 9/2006 New South Wales Parliament
- World conference on LGBT rights
- Interdependency Visa: Offshore Temporary and Permanent (Subclasses 310 and 110)
- Sinnes, G.R. Australia Encyclopaedia of Homosexuality. Dynes, Wayne R. (ed.), Garland Publishing, 1990. pp. 93–97