Same-sex marriage in Australia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Legal status of same-sex unions
Marriage
Performed
Recognized
  1. Not performed in Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten
  2. Neither performed nor recognized in Niue, Tokelau and the Cook Islands
  3. Neither performed nor recognized in Northern Ireland, the dependency of Sark and six of the fourteen overseas territories
  4. Neither performed nor recognized in American Samoa and many tribal jurisdictions with the exception of federal recognition benefits
  5. When performed in Mexican states that have legalized same-sex marriage
  6. When performed in the Netherlands proper
  7. If performed before 1 June 2018
  8. Registration schemes open in all jurisdictions except Hualien County, Penghu County, Taitung County and Yunlin County

* Not yet in effect
+ Automatic deadline set by judicial body for same-sex marriage to become legal

LGBT portal

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Australia since 9 December 2017. The legislation to allow same-sex marriage, the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017, passed the Australian Parliament on 7 December 2017 and received royal assent from the Governor-General the following day. The law came into effect on 9 December, immediately recognising overseas same-sex marriages. The first same-sex wedding under Australian law was held on 15 December 2017.[nb 1] The passage of the law followed a voluntary postal survey of all Australians, in which 61.6% of respondents supported same-sex marriage.

Other types of recognition for same-sex couples are also available. Under federal law, same-sex couples can also be recognised as de facto relationships, which provide most of the same rights and responsibilities afforded to married couples, although those rights may be difficult to assert and are not always recognised in practice. Although there is no national civil union or relationships register scheme in Australia, most states and territories have legislated for civil unions or domestic partnership registries. Such unions are recognised as de facto relationships under federal law.

Prior to legalisation, 22 same-sex marriage related bills were introduced to Parliament between September 2004 and May 2017, none of which passed into law. These failed attempts came after the Howard Government amended the law in August 2004 to exclude same-sex marriages. The Australian Capital Territory passed a same-sex marriage law in December 2013, though this was struck down by the High Court on the grounds that such a law could only be introduced by the Commonwealth.

De facto relationships[edit]

De facto relationships, defined in the federal Family Law Act 1975,[1] are available to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. De facto relationships provide couples who are living together on a genuine domestic basis with many of the same rights and benefits as married couples. Two people can become a de facto couple by entering into a registered relationship (i.e.: civil union or domestic partnership) or by being assessed as such by the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court.[2] Couples who are living together are generally recognised as a de facto relationship and thus able to claim many of the rights and benefits of a married couple, even if they have not registered or officially documented their relationship.[3]

Rudd Government 2008/09 reforms[edit]

Following the Australian Human Rights Commission's 2007 report "Same-Sex: Same Entitlements"[4] and an audit of Commonwealth (i.e.: federal) legislation, in 2009 the Rudd Government introduced several reforms designed to equalise treatment for same-sex couples and same-sex couple families. The reforms amended 85 Commonwealth laws to eliminate discrimination against same-sex couples and their children in a wide range of areas. The reforms came in the form of two pieces of legislation, the Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws—General Law Reform) Act 2008 and the Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws—Superannuation) Act 2008.[5][6] These laws, which passed the Parliament in November 2008, amended 70[7] other existing Commonwealth acts to equalise treatment for same-sex couples and any children that such couples may be raising. As a result of these reforms same-sex couples were treated equally with heterosexual couples under most areas of federal law.[8][9]

For instance, with relation to social security and general family law, same-sex couples were previously not recognised as a couple for social security or family assistance purposes. A person who had a same-sex de facto partner was treated as a single person. The reforms ensured that same-sex couples were (for the first time under Australian law) recognised as a couple akin to opposite-sex partners. Consequently, a same-sex couple receives the same rate of social security and family assistance payments as an opposite-sex couple.[8][9] Despite large equality of rights, Australia cannot not have a national registered partnership, civil union or same-sex relationship scheme as a result of constitutional limitations. Under the Australian Constitution, the Federal Government only has certain enumerated powers, which under Section 51(xxi) merely relate to "marriage". States would have to refer their residual powers to the Commonwealth to allow a national registered partnership, civil union or same-sex relationship scheme.

Legislative history prior to de facto recognition[edit]

In 2004, amendments to the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act to allow tax free payment of superannuation benefits to be made to the surviving partner on an interdependent relationships, included same-sex couples, or a relationship where one person was financially dependent on another person.[10][11] Prior to 2008, same-sex couples were only recognised by the Federal Government in very limited circumstances. For example, since the 1990s, same-sex foreign partners of Australian citizens have been able to receive residency permits in Australia known as "interdependency visas". Following a national inquiry into financial and work-related discrimination against same-sex relationships, on 21 June 2007, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) released its Same-Sex: Same Entitlements report. The Commission identified 58 Commonwealth law statutes and provisions that explicitly discriminate against same-gender couples by using the term 'member of the opposite sex'.[12][13]

The previous conservative Howard Government banned its departments from making submissions to the HREOC inquiry regarding financial discrimination experienced by same-sex couples.[14]

The report found that 100 statutes and provisions under federal law discriminated against same-sex couples by using the term "member of the opposite sex", from aged care, superannuation, childcare, Medicare (including the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme) through to pensions. "All the basics that opposite-gender couples are legally entitled to and take for granted" were things same-sex couples were effectively barred from utilising under the former system.[15]

Differences between de facto relationships and marriages[edit]

Since 1 March 2009, some legal differences remain with respect to treatment of couples in a de facto relationship and heterosexual couples in a marriage.[16] Differences exist between the rights of a de facto couple and a married couple in relation to family law matters, including property settlements and entitlements to spousal maintenance. A de facto relationship must have ended for the court to make an order for property settlement or spousal maintenance, though this requirement does not exist for married couples.[17] For a de facto partner to seek an order for property settlement, the Court must be satisfied of at least one of the following:[17]

  • The period of the de facto relationship was for at least two years; or
  • There is a child in the de facto relationship; or
  • The relationship is or was registered under a prescribed law of a State or Territory; or
  • That failure to make an order would result in serious injustice due to the significant contributions made by one party.

By way of comparison, for a married couple, it is enough merely to have been married to attract the jurisdiction of the Court for property and spousal maintenance.[17]

Furthermore, it is possible that individuals in a de facto relationship can be treated substantively different to a person in a marriage. In the event of an unexpected end to a de facto relationship (such as death of a partner), the surviving partner must often prove the existence of a relationship in order to be registered as the next of kin on a death certificate and receive government bereavement payments and access to a partner's superannuation. These requirements vary on a state by state basis. Given that, prior to the legalisation of same-sex marriage, same-sex couples did not have the option to marry, as heterosexual couples did, these discrepancies could have a particularly discriminatory impact on same-sex couples.[18] The rights of a de facto partner may be poorly understood by government departments, resulting in occasions where said couples have not had their rights upheld.[19]

In April 2014, a federal court judge ruled that a heterosexual couple who had a child and lived together for 13 years were not in a de facto relationship and thus the court had no jurisdiction to divide up their property under family law following a request for separation. In his ruling, the judge stated that "de facto relationship(s) may be described as "marriage-like" but it is not a marriage and has significant differences socially, financially and emotionally."[20]

De facto relationships often face an onerous burden of proof before rights that are automatically granted to married couples can be accessed.[21] This means partners may have to provide evidence about their living and childcare arrangements, sexual relationship, finances, ownership of property, commitment to a shared life and how they present as a couple in public. This can present difficulties when de facto relationships are legally contested by other people, usually other family members. Marriages rarely encounter such difficulties as they are generally regarded as immediate and incontrovertible.[22]

Same-sex marriage[edit]

Federal law[edit]

The federal Marriage Act governs laws relating to marriage in Australia. The Act defines marriage (in Section 5 of the Act) as "the union of 2 people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life".[23]

History[edit]

The Marriage Act was introduced in 1961, and prior to 2004 did not explicitly define the legal meaning of the word "marriage". Section 46 (1) of the Act, however, has always included a provision requiring celebrants to state the legal nature of marriage in Australia, viz. "the union of 2 people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life", or words to that effect.[23] Previously the requirement was to state marriage is the union of "a man and a woman", or words to that effect, in line with the 1866 English case of Hyde v Hyde.[24] The words in Section 46 (1) have been seen as a description or exhortation rather than a legal definition.[24]

In August 2004, the Howard Government introduced a bill to insert a definition of marriage in the Interpretation section (Section 5) of the Act; as "the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life".[25] The bill also inserted a new provision in the Act (Section 88EA) which stipulated that any foreign marriages of same-sex couples "must not be recognised as a marriage in Australia".[25] The bill was supported by the opposition Labor Party and came amidst increased public debate on the issue following the judicial legalisation of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts and Canada.[26] Then-Prime Minister John Howard would later admit that the amendments were partially motivated by a desire to prevent same-sex couples having their marriages recognised by the courts, as was being litigated at the time.[27] Additional reforms to the Family Law Act prevented same-sex couples from being eligible adoptive parents for children in inter-country adoption arrangements,[28] though these restrictions were eventually relaxed in 2014.[29] The bill passed the Parliament on 13 August 2004 and went into effect on the day it received royal assent, on 16 August 2004.[30][25]

Over the following 13 years, there were 22 unsuccessful attempts to legalise same-sex marriage in the Parliament.[31] The Labor Governments of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard (2007-13) were divided on the issue. Despite passing a resolution at the party's national conference in December 2011 to support same-sex marriage, the party held a conscience vote when a private member's bill to legalise same-sex marriage was debated in the Parliament in September 2012.[32][33] The bill was opposed by Prime Minister Gillard and several other Labor MPs, as well as by the opposition Coalition, led by Tony Abbott. The bill failed in the House of Representatives by 98 votes to 42 and was rejected by the Senate by 41 votes to 26.[34][35]

Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey form

The issue caused significant tension within the centre-right Abbott Government,[36][37] which resolved in August 2015 to hold a national vote on same-sex marriage, sometime after the 2016 federal election, in the form of either a plebiscite or constitutional referendum.[38] This policy was maintained by the Turnbull Government after Malcolm Turnbull (a supporter of same-sex marriage) replaced Abbott as Prime Minister following a leadership challenge.[39] The bill to establish the plebiscite (which would have been held on 11 February 2017) passed the House of Representatives by 76 votes to 67 on 20 October 2016,[40] though was rejected by the Senate the following month by 33 votes to 29, after the Government failed to attract the support of the opposition Labor Party, minor party the Greens and several Senate crossbenchers.[41]

Despite initially suggesting the Government had "no plans to take any other measures on this issue",[42] Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull came under increasing pressure to change policy and allow a conscience vote in the Parliament.[43] By August 2017, several Liberal Party MPs revealed they would consider crossing the floor to suspend standing orders and bring on debate on a bill against the Government's wishes.[44] Consequently, at a Liberal party room meeting on 7 August 2017, the Government resolved to conduct a voluntary postal survey on the matter later in the year.[45] The Government stated the survey would only occur in the event the Senate again rejected the legislation enabling the plebiscite, which happened on 9 August 2017.[46] The survey did not require legislative approval by the Parliament and despite being legally challenged, was upheld by the High Court.[47] The survey was held between 12 September and 7 November 2017 and returned a 61.6% "Yes" vote in favour of same-sex marriage.[48] 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.[49]

That bill, the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017, was introduced into the Parliament by openly gay Liberal Party backbencher, Senator Dean Smith.[50] The bill amended Section 5 of the Marriage Act to define marriage in Australia as the union of "2 people".[51] It also removed the ban on overseas same-sex marriages being recognised in Australia, including ones that occurred before the law change.[52] Additionally, the bill included protections for religious celebrants, ministers of religion and bodies established for a religious purpose, to not be obligated to perform or provide services and facilities to marriages they object to.[51] The bill passed the Senate by 43 votes to 12 on 29 November 2017 and passed the House of Representatives on 7 December 2017 by a vote of 131 to 4; there were 11 abstentions.[53][54][55] The bill received royal assent on 8 December 2017 and went into effect the following day.[56] Same-sex marriages lawfully entered into overseas automatically became recognised from that date, and the first weddings after the normal one-month waiting period occurred from 9 January 2018.[57][58] Several same-sex couples successfully applied for an exemption from the one-month waiting period,[59] and the first legal same-sex wedding under Australian law was held on 15 December 2017, with further weddings taking place the following day.[60][61][62]

State and territory law[edit]

The federal legalisation of same-sex marriage extended to all of Australia's states and territories, including the external territories.[63][64]

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.[65]

Since the Commonwealth (i.e: Federal Parliament) introduced the Marriage Act Cth. 1961, marriage laws in Australia were generally regarded as an exclusive Commonwealth power. The precise rights of states and territories with respect to creating state-based same-sex marriage laws was complicated further by the Howard Government amendment to the Marriage Act in 2004 to define marriage as the exclusive union of one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others.[66] The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) provided a test case on the matter, when in October 2013, the territory's Legislative Assembly passed a law allowing same-sex marriage.[67] The Commonwealth (specifically the Abbott Government) immediately challenged the law in the High Court of Australia. The High Court ruled on the matter in December 2013, five days after the first same-sex weddings were celebrated in the ACT, striking down the ACT's same-sex marriage law.[67] The court determined that all laws with respect to marriage were an exclusive power of the Commonwealth and that no state or territory law creating any other type of marriage could operate concurrently with the federal Marriage Act; "the kind of marriage provided for by the [Marriage] Act is the only kind of marriage that may be formed or recognised in Australia".[67] The court also ruled that a same-sex marriage law passed by the Federal Parliament could operate lawfully.[67] The ruling closed off the possibility for a state or territory to legislate for same-sex marriage in the absence of a federal same-sex marriage law.[67]

Prior to that ruling, reports released by the New South Wales Parliamentary Committee on Social Issues and the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute 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"[68] and that no current arguments "present an absolute impediment to achieving state-based or Commonwealth marriage equality".[69] The ACT Government received legal advice supporting the lawfulness of its same-sex marriage law prior to the High Court ruling, though several legal experts expressed doubts.[70][71][72][73]

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 13 votes to 11 in September 2012, though the upper house subsequently voted against the legislation a few weeks later by 8 votes to 6.[74][75] Both houses later passed motions giving in-principle, symbolic support for same-sex marriage.[76]

Prior to the federal legalisation of same-sex marriage, six Australian jurisdictions (Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory,[77] New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia), comprising 90% of Australia's population, recognised same-sex marriages and civil partnerships performed overseas, providing automatic recognition of such unions in their respective state registers.[78]

Constitutional and legal issues[edit]

Oceania
  Same-sex marriage
  Other type of partnership (or unregistered cohabitation)
  Limited recognition of same-sex marriages at the federal level, no territory level recognition
  No recognition
  Constitution limits marriage to opposite-sex couples
  Same-sex sexual activity illegal

There is an important difference in the source of power of the Commonwealth to legislate over married and de facto relationships. Marriage and "matrimonial causes" are supported by sections 51(xxi) and (xxii) of the Constitution. The legal status of marriage is also internationally recognised whereas the power to legislate for de facto relationships and their financial matters relies on referrals by states to the Commonwealth in accordance with Section 51(xxxvii) of the Australian Constitution, where it states the law shall extend only to states by whose parliaments the matter is referred, or which afterward adopt the law.[79]

Thus, same-sex or heterosexual, unmarried and also married couples living in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and France for example, have the right to choose their own legal status and respective rights and obligations easily, such as to have no community or to have community of property, as an active opt-in system at time of first living together. This is in contrast to the Australian de facto and married regimes where all property is in the pool unless a couple actively opt out with a binding financial contract drawn up by lawyers and they also have to be resident in Australia to do that.[citation needed]

Transgender and intersex issues[edit]

In the 2001 case Re Kevin – validity of marriage of transsexual, the Family Court of Australia recognised the right of transsexual people to marry according to their current gender as opposed to the gender of their birth; this did not permit same-sex marriage from the perspective of the genders the couple identifies as, but it did mean that a male-to-female transsexual could legally marry a man, and a female-to-male transsexual could legally marry a woman.[80]

In October 2007, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal overturned a decision by the Foreign Affairs Department refusing to issue a transgender woman a passport listing her as female because she is married to a woman. The tribunal ordered that she be issued a passport listing her as female, in accordance with her other official documents, thereby recognising the existence of a marriage between two persons who are legally recognised as female.[81] Same-sex marriage advocates noted that same-sex marriage legislation should be inclusive of the rights transgender and intersex people, with intersex people being skeptical of the term same-sex marriage.[82] These concerns were addressed by the federal legalisation of same-sex marriage in December 2017, which amended the definition of marriage to "2 people".[83]

As of 2017, only South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory did not require trans people to divorce before registering an official change of gender on a birth certificate.[84] This requirement will be removed by federal law in December 2018.[85] Victoria passed legislation removing the forced divorce requirement in May 2018[86] and similar legislation was passed in New South Wales and Queensland the following month.[87][88]

Australian marriage legislation[edit]

Marriage Act 1961[edit]

The Marriage Act is a federal Act of the Parliament of Australia. It has been in effect since 1961 and governs the laws and regulations regarding lawful marriages in Australia. With respect to the recognition of same-sex unions, the Act has been amended in 2004 and 2017.

Amendment Act 2004[edit]

On 27 May 2004, the then federal Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, introduced the Marriage Amendment Bill 2004,[89] intending to incorporate the-then common law definition of marriage into the Marriage Act 1961.[90] In June 2004, the bill passed the House of Representatives and the Senate passed the amendment by 38 votes to 6 on 13 August 2004. The bill subsequently received royal assent, becoming the Marriage Amendment Act 2004. The amendment specified that marriage meant "the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life." In addition, the bill banned the recognition of same-sex marriages entered into in other jurisdictions.[91]

Attorney-General Ruddock and other Liberals argued that the bill was necessary to protect the institution of marriage, by ensuring that the common law definition was put beyond legal challenge.[92] Labor Shadow Attorney-General Nicola Roxon on the same day the amendment was proposed said that the party would not oppose the amendment, arguing that it did not affect the legal situation of same-sex relationships, merely putting into statute law what was already common law. The Family First senator supported the bill.[93]

Despite having support of the major parties the bill was contested by sections of the community, human rights groups and some minor political parties. The Australian Greens opposed the bill, calling it the "Marriage Discrimination Act". The Australian Democrats also opposed the bill. Democrat Senator Andrew Bartlett stated that the legislation devalues his marriage, and Greens Senator Bob Brown referred to John Howard and the legislation as "hateful".[94][95] Brown was asked to retract his statements, but refused. Bob Brown also quoted as Australia having a "straight Australia policy".

Not all of Labor was in support of the bill. During the bill's second reading, Anthony Albanese, Labor MP for Grayndler said, "what has caused offence is why the Government has rushed in this legislation in what is possibly the last fortnight of parliamentary sittings. This bill is a result of 30 bigoted backbenchers who want to press buttons out there in the community."[96]

Amendment Act 2017[edit]

Senator Dean Smith introduced into Parliament a private senator's bill to alter the definition of marriage to allow same-sex couples to marry, after 61.6% of Australians who responded in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey voted to support same-sex marriage.[97] The bill amended the definition of "marriage" in the Act, omitting the words "man and a woman" and replacing it with the gender-neutral wording "2 people".[98][99] The amendment which prevented overseas same-sex marriages from being recognised in Australia was repealed. The bill passed the Senate by 43 votes to 12 on 29 November and passed the House of Representatives by 131 votes to 4 on 7 December 2017.[100][93]

The bill received royal assent from the Governor-General on 8 December 2017 and came into effect the following day.[101]

As a result of the law, the definition of marriage in Australia is as follows:[23]

Marriage means the union of 2 people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.

Under section 46 of the Marriage Act, a celebrant is required to say these words, or words to this effect, in every marriage ceremony.[23]

Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013[edit]

On 13 September 2013, 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.[102] "We've been pretty clear on this issue for some time now and there's overwhelming community support for this", Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said. "We would prefer to see the federal parliament legislate for a nationally consistent scheme, but in the absence of this, we will act for the people of the ACT. The Marriage Equality Bill 2013 would have enabled couples who are not able to marry under the Commonwealth Marriage Act 1961 to enter into marriage in the ACT. It will provide for solemnisation, eligibility, dissolution and annulment, regulatory requirements and notice of intention in relation to same-sex marriages."[103] On 10 October 2013, federal Attorney-General George Brandis confirmed that the Commonwealth Government would challenge the proposed ACT bill, stating that the Coalition Government has significant constitutional concerns with respect to the bill.[104] The bill was debated in the ACT Legislative Assembly on 22 October 2013, and passed by 9 votes to 8.[105]

Under the legislation, same-sex marriages were legally permitted from 7 December 2013.[106][107][108]

As soon as the ACT's law had been passed, the Commonwealth launched a challenge to it in the High Court, which delivered judgment on 12 December 2013.[109][110] As to the relation between the ACT act and federal legislation, the Court found that the ACT act was invalid and of "no effect", because it was "inconsistent", in terms of the Australian Capital Territory Self-Government Act 1988 (Cth), with the federal Marriage Act 1961 (Cth). 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 the 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.[109] It can do so by amending the definition of "marriage" in the Marriage Act, which it did in December 2017.

Marriage statistics[edit]

As of 1 June 2018, six months after the legalisation of same-sex marriage, 2,490 same-sex weddings have taken place in Australia. The most marriages occurred in New South Wales (853), followed by Victoria (674), Queensland (374), Western Australia (292), South Australia (162), Tasmania (66), the Australian Capital Territory (48) and the Northern Territory (21).[111] Combining this with the couples who reported themselves as married already (possibly overseas), around 10% of same-sex couples who live together are now married.[112]

Dual British-Australian couples were able to marry in British embassies and consulates in Australia after the United Kingdom legalised same-sex marriage in 2014. From June 2014 to October 2017, 445 same-sex couples took advantage of this and married in British diplomatic offices across Australia.[113]

State and territory recognition schemes[edit]

Same-sex couples have access to different relationship recognition schemes in Australia's eight states and territories. Under federal law, they are treated as de facto relationships. Despite Australia having passed a federal same-sex marriage law, these schemes remain in place as an option for couples.

Civil unions/partnerships[edit]

Same-sex couples can enter into civil unions in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and civil partnerships in Queensland. Both schemes include state-sanctioned ceremonies that are similar to marriage ceremonies.

Australian Capital Territory

Same-sex couples can enter into civil unions in the Australian Capital Territory. In August 2012, the ACT's Civil Union Bill passed the territory legislative assembly. The Civil Union Act 2012 grants many of the same rights to same-sex couples as people married under the Marriage Act.[114] The Act was not challenged by the Gillard Federal Government. It was to be repealed and civil unions were to be no longer accessible to same-sex couples upon commencement of the Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013, which (if not struck down by the High Court) would have permanently legalised same-sex marriage in the territory.[115] Due to the High Court's ruling striking down the ACT's same-sex marriage law as invalid, the repeal of the Civil Unions Act 2012 is of no effect and civil unions continue to take place in the ACT.[116]

Queensland

Civil partnerships, commonly referred to as civil unions, have been legal in Queensland since April 2016. The state Parliament passed the Discrimination Law Amendment Act in December 2002, which created non-discriminatory definitions of "de facto partner" with respect to 42 pieces of legislation.[117] This gave same-sex couples the same rights as de facto couples in most instances.

On 30 November 2011, 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.[118] The Civil Partnerships Act 2011 allowed for same-sex couples who are Queensland residents to enter into a civil partnership.[119] Shortly after the change of government in the 2012 state elections, and following high profile advertisements for repeal of the law by Katter's Australian Party,[120] the centre-right LNP Government passed the Civil Partnerships and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012.[121] The new law changed the name from "civil partnership" to "registered relationship" and prohibited the state from offering ceremonies for those who do register their relationship in this manner. Following the 2015 state election, which saw Labor form minority government, the Parliament passed (in December 2015) the Relationships (Civil Partnerships) and Other Acts Amendment Bill 2015, which restored state-sanctioned ceremonies for same-sex and opposite-sex couples and once more changed regulations referring to "registered relationships" with "civil partnerships".[122] The law came into effect following a number of administrative matters occurring, with civil partnerships resuming in the state on 2 April 2016.[122][123]

Brisbane protest rally, 2009

Registered relationships[edit]

Same-sex couples have access to domestic partnership registries (otherwise known as registered relationships) in 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 2010. The Relationships Register Act 2010 was passed by the Parliament in May and came into effect on 1 July 2010.[124] The Act provides conclusive proof of the existence of a relationship and ensures participants gain all the rights afforded to de facto couples under state and federal law.[125] Previously, in June 2008, the Parliament passed the Miscellaneous Acts Amendment (Same Sex Relationships) Act 2008.[126] The Act amended several other state laws to recognise co-mothers as legal parents of children born through donor insemination and ensure birth certificates allow both mothers to be recognised.[126] Additionally, the Act amended 57 pieces of state legislation to ensure de facto couples, including same-sex couples, are treated equally with married couples.[126] Finally, the Act amended the New South Wales Anti-Discrimination Act to ensure same-sex couples are protected from discrimination on the basis of their "marital or domestic status" in employment, accommodation and access to other goods and services.[126][127]

New South Wales has also sought to legislate with respect to same-sex marriage. In November 2013, a bill was introduced to the Legislative Council to legalise same-sex marriage at a state level, thought it was narrowly defeated.[128][129] The external territory of Norfolk Island has, since 1 July 2016, been incorporated into New South Wales legislation.

Victoria

Victoria has recognised domestic partnerships since December 2008. The Parliament passed the Relationships Act on 10 April 2008 and came into effect on 1 December 2008.[130] This allowed same-sex couples to register their relationships with the state Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages and provide conclusive proof of a de facto relationship, allowing them to receive all the benefits and rights of such a couple under state and federal law.[131] In 2016, the Victorian Parliament passed reforms to the state's domestic partnerships legislation, allowing for the recognition of overseas same-sex marriages on official documents and also allowing couples the option of having an official ceremony when registering for a domestic partnership.[132] The earliest legislative reform in the state designed to provide equal treatment of same-sex couples came in August 2001, in the form of the Statute Law Amendment (Relationships) Act 2001 and the Statute Law Further Amendment (Relationships) Act 2001. The acts amended 60 laws in Victoria to give same-sex couples, called "domestic partners", many rights equal to those enjoyed by de facto couples, including hospital access, medical decision making, superannuation, inheritance rights, property tax, landlord/tenancy rights, mental health treatment and victims of crime procedures.[133][134]

South Australia

In South Australia, the Statutes Amendment (Domestic Partners) Act 2006 (Number 43), which took effect 1 June 2007, amended 97 acts, dispensing with the term "de facto" and categorising couples as "domestic partners".[135] This meant same-sex couples and any two people who live together are covered by the same laws.[136][137] In December 2016, the Parliament passed a law which creates a relationship register for same-sex couples and recognises the relationships of same-sex couples who had married or entered into an official union in other states and nations.[138] This law went into effect on 1 August 2017.[138] Prior to that reform, same-sex couples could make a written agreement called a "domestic partnership agreement" about their living arrangements. 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.[136]

Tasmania

In Tasmania, beginning on 1 January 2004, the states' Relationships Act 2003 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.[139][140] In September 2010, the Tasmanian Parliament unanimously passed legislation to recognise same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions as registered partnerships under the Relationships Act 2003, making it the first Australian state or territory to do so.[141]

In August 2012, 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 2012.[142][143] In October 2013, the bill was re-introduced into the upper house and was defeated once more.[144]

Registered partnership recognition in state governments

States Official relationship status Year of enactment
ACT Civil union 2012
New South Wales Registered relationship 2010
Queensland Civil partnership 2012
Tasmania Significant relationship 2004
Victoria Domestic relationship 2008
South Australia Registered relationship 2017

No relationship registration scheme[edit]

Same-sex and opposite-sex de facto couples exist in all states and territories, however the inability of de facto couples to have conclusive evidence of their relationships in Western Australia and the Northern Territory can make it difficult for them to access rights accorded to them under the law. This section briefly discusses the situation in these jurisdictions, which lack registered partnerships for same-sex (or opposite-sex) couples. It is worth noting however that section 118 of the Constitution of Australia (The Full Faith and Credit Section) likely allows persons registered under the laws of states and territories with civil union/domestic partnership laws to be able to enforce their rights in jurisdictions without specific enactments.[145]

Northern Territory

In the Northern Territory, in March 2004, the territory Government enacted the Law Reform (Gender, Sexuality and De Facto Relationships) Act 2003 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.[146]

Western Australia

In Western Australia, 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 and created new family law designed to recognise same-sex couples as de facto relationships.[147]

Local government schemes[edit]

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.

The City of Melbourne (Victoria) adopted a register in 2007 and discontinued it in May 2018, after the federal legalisation of same-sex marriage.[154][155]

Local government motions[edit]

Local government groups have also published official positions in favour of same-sex marriage. In June 2016, the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) approved a motion supporting the legalisation of same-sex marriage. The motion was put forward by Lord Mayor of Darwin Katrina Fong Lim and Meghan Hopper, a member of the Council of Moreland. It was approved by a strong majority at ALGA's National General Assembly.[156][157][158] The motion reads the following;[156]

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.

The motion went before the ALGA's board for approval, which the board provided on 21 July 2016.[159]

As of 1 January 2018, of the 546 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.

62 / 546 (11%)

Those local governments are:[160][161]

No other local governments are considering a motion to support same-sex marriage.

At least two local governments have rejected motions to support same-sex marriage:

Public opinion[edit]

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.

Date Firm Support Oppose Undecided
March 2018 Essential[216] 65% 26% 9%
September - October 2017 Essential[217][218] 61% 32% 7%
August - September 2017 Newgate Research[219] 58.4% 31.4% 10.2%
August 2017 Newspoll[220] 63% 30% 7%
July 2017 Essential[221] 63% 25% 12%
July 2017 YouGov[222] 60% 28% 12%
February 2017 Galaxy[223] 66%  –  –
September 2016 Newspoll[220] 62% 32% 6%
August 2016 Essential[224] 57% 28% 15%
March 2016 Essential[225] 64% 26% 11%
March 2016 Roy Morgan[226] 76% 24%  –
October 2015 Essential[227] 59% 30% 11%
August 2015 Essential[228] 60% 31% 10%
August 2015 Ipsos[229] 69% 25% 6%
July 2015 ReachTEL[230] 53.8% 32.8% 12.4%
June 2015 Ipsos[231] 68% 25% 7%
July 2014 Newspoll[232] 69% 26% 6%
July 2014 Crosby Textor[233] 72% 21% 7%
August 2013 Nielson[234] 65% 28% 7%
May 2013 Ipsos[235] 54% 20% 26%
May 2013 Roy Morgan[236] 65% 35%  –
August 2012 Galaxy[237][238] 64% 30% 5%
July 2011 Roy Morgan[226] 68% 30% 2%
October 2010 Galaxy[239] 62% 33% 5%
June 2009 Galaxy[240] 60% 36% 4%
June 2007 Galaxy[241] 57% 37% 6%
June 2004 Newspoll[242] 38% 44% 18%

According to a survey, published in late January 2018 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. 30% of the survey participants named the legalisation of same-sex marriage as the most historic event in their lifetime, 27% named the September 11 attacks, 13% named former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's apology to indigenous Australians and another 13% named the Port Arthur massacre.[243]

Religious performance[edit]

Most major religious organisations in Australia do not perform same-sex marriages in their places of worship.

  • Christianity
    • Catholic Church – The Catholic Church opposes same-sex marriage and "views marriage as a unique relationship between a woman and a man".[244]
    • Baptism - The National Council of Australian Baptist Ministries "rejects moves to extend the definition of marriage to include same-sex relationships".[245]
    • Anglican Church – The Anglican Church's official position is that marriage is "an exclusive and lifelong union of a man and a woman"[246] though a number of prominent members of the Church have stated support for same-sex marriage, and the prospect of a formal split on the issue has been canvassed.[247]
    • Eastern Orthodox – The Church considers marriage "a sacrament...through which the union of man and woman is sanctified by God".[248]
    • Pentecostalism – The religion's chief representative group, Australian Christian Churches, opposes same-sex marriage.[249]
    • Presbyterian Church – The Church opposes same-sex marriage and responded to the results of the same-sex marriage survey by stating it "continues to hold to the biblical definition of marriage as between one man and one woman as we believe it best reflects the Lord’s creational design for human flourishing".[250][251]
    • Uniting Church – In July 2018, the National Assembly approved the creation of marriage rites for same-sex couples, with the first same-sex marriages expected to be performed in Uniting churches by the end of 2018.[252]
  • Buddhism – The Federation of Australian Buddhist Council states there is no fixed or pre-ordained form of marriage, though it "has been consistent in its support for same-sex marriage since 2012".[255]
  • Hinduism – The Australian Council of Hindu Clergy issued a clarifying statement in September 2017 stating that marriage under Hinduism is between a man and a woman; the group having come to the position after a formal vote was taken indicating 90% approval for the position.[256]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In Australia, couples intending to marry must wait at least one month after signing a notice of intention to marry, meaning the first legal weddings were to take place from 9 January 2018. 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 2017.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Family Law Act 1975 - Sect. 4AA". austlii.edu.au. 
  2. ^ "De facto Relationships". Family Court of Australia. 
  3. ^ "De facto Relationships". The Law Society of New South Wales. Archived from the original on 10 February 2017. 
  4. ^ "Same Sex: Same Entitlements". humanrights.gov.au. 
  5. ^ "Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws—General Law Reform Act 2008 (Cth)". ComLaw. Retrieved 26 November 2015. 
  6. ^ "Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws—Superannuation) Act 2008 (Cth)". ComLaw. Retrieved 26 November 2015. 
  7. ^ "Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws—General Law Reform Act 2008 (Cth)". ComLaw. Retrieved 26 November 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "Explanatory Memorandum: Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws - General Law Reform) Act 2008". Federal Register of Legislation. 1 January 2009. 
  9. ^ a b "Explanatory Memorandum: Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws—Superannuation) Act 2008". Parliament of Australia. 1 January 2009. 
  10. ^ "Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (Cth)". ComLaw. Retrieved 26 November 2015. 
  11. ^ "Australian Parliament website". Archived from the original on 3 June 2011. Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  12. ^ "HREOC Same-sex same entitlements Report" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 October 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  13. ^ "Same Sex: Same Entitlements". humanrights.gov.au. 
  14. ^ "How well does Australian democracy serve sexual and gender minorities?", Democratic audit of Australia, ANU School of Social Science report No. 9, 2003 p. 19
  15. ^ Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission: Same-Sex: Same Entitlements Report
  16. ^ "Married or De Facto – What's the difference?". Coleman Grieg Lawyers. 21 August 2012. 
  17. ^ a b c "Same sex marriage – de facto v matrimonial – what is all the fuss about?". bnlaw.com.au. 4 June 2015. 
  18. ^ "Same-sex marriage and the law". The Sydney Morning Herald. YouTube. 21 February 2017. 
  19. ^ Elphick, Liam. "Do same-sex couples really have the same rights as married couples?". SBS News. Retrieved 15 September 2017. 
  20. ^ "De facto couples have differences to married counterparts, judge says". The Australian. 23 April 2014. 
  21. ^ Holman, Julia (27 September 2017). "Same-sex couples 'invisible' and financially vulnerable because they can't marry". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 27 September 2017. 
  22. ^ "SSM: What legal benefits do married couples have that de facto couples do not?". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 21 September 2017. 
  23. ^ a b c d "Marriage Act". Federal Register of Legislation. 9 December 2017. 
  24. ^ a b Neilsen, Mary Anne (10 February 2012). "Same-sex marriage". Background Notes 2011-2012. Parliamentary Library (Australia). Retrieved 27 December 2016. 
  25. ^ a b c "Marriage Amendment Act 2004". Federal Register of Legislation. 1 September 2004. 
  26. ^ "Howard to ban gay marriages". The Age. 27 May 2004. 
  27. ^ "John Howard defends Malcolm Turnbull on same-sex plebiscite". The Australian. 8 August 2017. (Subscription required (help)). John Howard: "What we didn’t want to happen in 2004 was for the courts to start adjudicating on the definition of marriage because that was a real threat in 2004 because some people who had contracted same sex marriages in another country had the capacity to bring their issues before courts in Australia". 
  28. ^ "PM targets gays in marriage law". Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 27 May 2004. 
  29. ^ Benjamin Riley (5 May 2014). "Same-sex couple included in overseas adoption agreement for the first time". Star Observer. 
  30. ^ "Today marks 10 years of Australia's same-sex marriage ban". Same Same. 13 August 2014. Archived from the original on 16 January 2016. 
  31. ^ McKeown, Deirdre (1 December 2017). "Chronology of same-sex marriage bills introduced into the federal parliament: a quick guide". www.aph.gov.au. Canberra: Parliamentary Library (Australia). Retrieved 27 December 2016. 
  32. ^ "Labor decides on conscience vote for gay marriage". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 3 December 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2016. 
  33. ^ "Labor backs same-sex marriage". News Corporation. 
  34. ^ "Lower House votes down same-sex marriage bill". ABC News. 
  35. ^ "Australian Senate votes down same-sex marriage bill". ABC News. 
  36. ^ Crowe, David (22 October 2015). "Gay marriage clash looms". The Australian. Retrieved 22 October 2015. 
  37. ^ Bourke, Latika (22 October 2015). "Coalition same-sex marriage plan an ambush and thought bubble: Eric Abetz". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 16 January 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2015. 
  38. ^ Anna Henderson (13 August 2015). "Same-sex marriage: 'Strong disposition' to put decision to popular vote, Tony Abbott says". ABC News. 
  39. ^ "No change to same-sex marriage policy". Sky News Australia. Archived from the original on 2 January 2016. 
  40. ^ Lane Sainty (20 October 2016). "The Marriage Equality Plebiscite Bill Has Passed The House Of Representatives". BuzzFeed News. 
  41. ^ Paul Karp (7 November 2016). "Marriage equality plebiscite bill voted down in Senate". Guardian. 
  42. ^ "No other plan to legalise gay marriage: PM". SBS News. 11 November 2016. Archived from the original on 12 November 2016. 
  43. ^ "Liberal MP Dean Smith reveals secret plans for same-sex marriage bill". Perth Now. 9 July 2017. 
  44. ^ "Simon Birmingham warns Liberal colleagues of crossing the floor on same-sex marriage". News.com.au. 2 August 2017. 
  45. ^ "Turnbull government kills same-sex marriage conscience vote, agrees to postal plebiscite". The Sydney Morning Herald. 7 August 2017. 
  46. ^ "Same-sex marriage: High Court challenge to be lodged against postal vote". SBS News. 9 August 2017. 
  47. ^ "SSM: High Court rules Government can run same-sex marriage postal survey". ABC News. 7 September 2017. 
  48. ^ "SSM: Australia returns resounding Yes vote but debate over details has long way to go". 15 November 2017. 
  49. ^ "Australia wants same-sex marriage. Here's what happens next". ABC News. 15 November 2017. 
  50. ^ "Legislative Tracker: Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017". Parliament of Australia. 15 November 2017. 
  51. ^ a b "Revised Explanatory Memorandum: Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017". Parliament of Australia. 4 December 2017. 
  52. ^ "Thousands of gay couples to become legally married overnight when law changes". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2 December 2017. 
  53. ^ "Same-sex marriage bill passes in Australian Senate". The Guardian. 29 November 2017. 
  54. ^ "Same-sex marriage bill passes House of Representatives, paving way for first gay weddings". ABC News. 7 December 2017. 
  55. ^ "Same-sex marriage: Who did and didn't vote in the House of Representatives". ABC News. 8 December 2017. 
  56. ^ "Same-sex marriage signed into law by Governor-General, first weddings to happen from January 9". ABC News. 8 December 2017. 
  57. ^ Calla Wahlquist (9 January 2018). "'Two consenting adults': couples across Australia make marriage equality real". Guardian Australia. Retrieved 9 January 2018. 
  58. ^ "When can you lodge your Notice for Intended Marriage?". ABC News. 7 December 2017. Retrieved 7 December 2017. 
  59. ^ "Same-sex marriage: How Australia's first wedding can happen within a month". ABC News. 13 December 2017. 
  60. ^ Patrick Williams (7 March 2018). "Heartbreaking story behind Australia's first same-sex marriage revealed". ABC News. Retrieved 7 March 2018. 
  61. ^ Julie Power & Goya Dmytryshchak (16 December 2017). "Australia's first same-sex couples say 'I do'". The Age. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 17 December 2017. Retrieved 16 December 2017. 
  62. ^ "Two lesbian couples celebrate first legal same-sex weddings in Australia". News.com.au. 16 December 2017. Archived from the original on 17 December 2017. Retrieved 16 December 2017. 
  63. ^ "Marriage Act". Federal Register of Legislation. 9 December 2017. Refer to Part 1 (Subsection 8) of the Act 
  64. ^ "Marriage Amendment Act (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017". Federal Register of Legislation. 9 December 2017. Refer to Schedule 1, Part 5 of the Act. 
  65. ^ "COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT - SECT 51 Legislative powers of the Parliament [see Notes 10 and 11]". austlii.edu.au. Archived from the original on 11 April 2009. 
  66. ^ "Marriage Amendment Act 2004". comlaw.gov.au. 
  67. ^ a b c d e "Fact file: High Court decision on ACT same-sex marriage laws". ABC News. 
  68. ^ "The Equality Campaign". Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  69. ^ Tas. Law Reform Institute report on same-sex marriage at a state and federal level
  70. ^ "Same-sex marriage laws won't be amended by ACT Government". Canberra Times. 
  71. ^ "High Court challenge to gay marriage will be heard before ACT ceremonies". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  72. ^ "Will the ACT's marriage equality bill survive a High Court challenge?". ABC News. 
  73. ^ "High Court will dismiss ACT gay marriage law - Crikey". crikey.com.au. 
  74. ^ "Tasmania's gay marriage bill clears first hurdle". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  75. ^ "Tasmania's Upper House votes down gay marriage". ABC News. 
  76. ^ Richard Baines (8 August 2016). "Gay marriage: Tasmanian Upper House gives in-principle support in 8-5 vote". ABC News. 
  77. ^ "CIVIL UNIONS ACT 2012 - SECT 27 Civil unions under corresponding laws". 
  78. ^ "Media Release: Call for Feds to recognise overseas same-sex marriages-Victoria praised for marriage initiative". Australian Marriage Equality. 12 December 2015. 
  79. ^ 51. Legislative powers of the Parliament
  80. ^ Wallbank, Rachael --- "Re Kevin in Perspective" [2004] DeakinLawRw 22; (2004) 9(2) Deakin Law Review 461. online copy.
  81. ^ "Australian trans passport victory". PinkNews. 
  82. ^ "Sixth day of intersex: Marriage". Organisation Intersex International Australia. 31 October 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 
  83. ^ Sainty, Lane (29 August 2017). "WTF Is Up With "Transgender Marriage" And The Same-Sex Marriage Debate?". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 24 November 2017. 
  84. ^ Karp, Paul (27 December 2017). "Marriage equality is a reality – so what's the next LGBTI battle?". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 December 2017. 
  85. ^ "What do the same-sex marriage laws actually say?". News.com.au. 9 December 2017. Archived from the original on 9 December 2017. 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 [2018], state and territory governments will no longer be able to block changes to birth certificates and other documents. 
  86. ^ "Victoria and NSW delivering marriage equality for trans people". Human Rights Law Centre. 23 May 2018. 
  87. ^ "NSW delivers marriage equality for trans people". Human Rights Law Centre. 6 June 2018. 
  88. ^ "Queensland laws changed for married transgender couples". ABC News. 14 June 2018. 
  89. ^ Marriage Amendment Bill 2004
  90. ^ "Hansard Second Reading Speech". Parlinfoweb.aph.gov.au. 20 June 2004. Retrieved 2017-09-04. 
  91. ^ "SavedQuery". Parlinfoweb.aph.gov.au. Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  92. ^ "SavedQuery". Parlinfoweb.aph.gov.au. Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  93. ^ a b "Same-sex marriage bill passes House of Representatives, paving way for first gay weddings". ABC News. 7 December 2017. 
  94. ^ PM targets gays in marriage law "[…] you cannot be on one or the other side of a divide with discriminatory legislation like this. The people who are on the receiving end of this discriminatory legislation will find it hateful. It impacts on them. It is not a loving message coming from the Prime Minister; it is the opposite. I have said that this is legislation of hate. I have said that this is a message of hate coming from the Prime Minister. It came from George W. Bush initially. […] Discrimination is hate in this circumstance and it is not unparliamentary for me to say so. […] When you discriminate against people, they feel they are being hated.";
  95. ^ "Coalition, Labor pass same-sex marriage ban". ABC News Online. 13 August 2004. 
  96. ^ Albanese, Anthony (16 June 2004). "Marriage Legislation Amendment Bill 2004: Second Reading". Anthony Albanese MP. Archived from the original on 5 June 2008. Retrieved 26 May 2008. 
  97. ^ Statistics, Australian Bureau of. "National results for Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey". marriagesurvey.abs.gov.au. Retrieved 2017-11-15. 
  98. ^ "Explanatory Memorandum: Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017". Parliament of Australia. 15 November 2017. 
  99. ^ "Dean Smith introduces same-sex marriage bill to parliament". The Guardian. 16 November 2017. 
  100. ^ "Same-sex marriage bill passes Senate with day to spare before House of Representatives resumes". ABC News. 29 November 2017. 
  101. ^ "Same-sex marriage signed into law by Governor-General, first weddings to happen from January 9". ABC News. 8 December 2017. 
  102. ^ "Australian Capital Territory to legalise gay marriage by the end of the year". 
  103. ^ "ACT's gay marriage test for Tony Abbott". 
  104. ^ "Same-sex marriage law High Court challenge confirmed". Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  105. ^ "ACT legalises same-sex marriage". News.com.au. Retrieved 2013-10-22. 
  106. ^ Peter Jean (25 November 2013). "Commonwealth 'doesn't prohibit' gay marriage, ACT argues". The Age. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  107. ^ "Hundreds rally in support of gay marriage". 7 News. 23 November 2013. Archived from the original on 6 December 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  108. ^ "Gay marriage hearing likely in December". 9 News National. 25 October 2013. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  109. ^ a b "The Commonwealth v Australian Capital Territory [2013] HCA 55 (12 December 2013)". AustLII. 
  110. ^ Adam Withnall (12 December 2013). "Australia: Gay marriage law reversed by high court less than a week after first weddings". The Independent. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  111. ^ Rob Stott (1 June 2018). "Here's How Many Same-Sex Marriages Australia Has Had Without The Sky Falling In". Junkee. 
  112. ^ Gerber, Paula. "Six months after marriage equality there's much to celebrate – and still much to do". The Conversation. Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  113. ^ "Same-sex couple tie the knot in Australia using marriage equality loophole". PinkNews. 27 October 2017. 
  114. ^ "Assembly passes civil unions reforms". Canberra Times. 23 August 2012. 
  115. ^ "ACT legislation register - Civil Unions Act 2012 - main page". act.gov.au. 
  116. ^ "Civil union registration". ACT Government. 1 June 2017. 
  117. ^ "DISCRIMINATION LAW AMENDMENT ACT 2002" (PDF). Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  118. ^ "Queensland civil unions bill passes". Brisbane Times. 1 December 2011. Archived from the original on 3 January 2012. 
  119. ^ "Queensland Legislation - Civil Partnership Act 2011". Queensland Legislation. 1 December 2017. 
  120. ^ "Katter party attack ad slams Campbell Newman over gay marriage". The Courier Mail. Retrieved 6 October 2017. 
  121. ^ "Civil Partnerships and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012" (PDF). Queensland Parliament. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  122. ^ a b The Honourable Yvette D'Ath (3 December 2015). "Civil partnership ceremonies restored in Queensland". The Queensland Cabinet and Ministerial Directory. Queensland Government. 
  123. ^ "Civil unions recommence in Qld from April". AAP. 9 News. 18 March 2016. 
  124. ^ "Commencement Proclamation; Relationships Register Act 2010" (PDF). New South Wales Legislation. 1 July 2010. 
  125. ^ "NSW Relationship Register passed". Sydney Star Observer. 12 May 2010. 
  126. ^ a b c d "Miscellaneous Acts Amendment (Same Sex Relationships) Act 2008". New South Wales Legislation. 1 December 2008. 
  127. ^ "Parenting reforms welcomed". SX News. 11 June 2008. Archived from the original on 19 June 2008. Retrieved 11 June 2008. 
  128. ^ Farrow, Lauren (14 November 2013). "NSW same-sex bill defeated tears in parly". The Australian. Retrieved 10 May 2014. 
  129. ^ "NSW MP continues defence of marriage". Catholic Leader. 10 November 2013. Retrieved 10 May 2014. 
  130. ^ "RELATIONSHIPS ACT 2008 (NO. 12 OF 2008)". austlii.edu.au. 
  131. ^ "The Relationships Act 2008; A seminar presented by Kathryn Rees, Counsel of Gordon & Jacksons' List" (PDF). Gordan and Jackson. 22 April 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 August 2016. 
  132. ^ "Amended Relationships Act enables recognition of international relationships in Victoria". Star Observer. 12 February 2016. 
  133. ^ "Statute Law Amendment (Relationships) Act 2001" (PDF). Victorian Legislation. 
  134. ^ "Statute Law Further Amendment (Relationships) Act 2001" (PDF). Victorian Legislation. 
  135. ^ "STATUTES AMENDMENT (DOMESTIC PARTNERS) ACT 2006 (NO 43 OF 2006)". South Australian Numbered Acts. 1 June 2008. 
  136. ^ a b "SA Upper House passes bill for same-sex rights (Thursday, December 7, 2006. 6:49pm (AEDT))". ABC News Online. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  137. ^ "South Australia gays get new rights by Tony Grew (7 December 2006)". pinknews.com.au. Archived from the original on 22 December 2009. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  138. ^ a b "South Australia introduces relationship recognition for same-sex couples and anti-discrimination protections for intersex people". Human Rights Law Centre. 1 August 2017. Archived from the original on 2 August 2017. 
  139. ^ "Relationships Act 2003". Austlii.edu.au. 1 January 2017. 
  140. ^ "Relationships". Government of Tasmania. 1 January 2017. 
  141. ^ "Upper-house endorses same-sex amendment". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 29 September 2010. Retrieved 29 September 2010. 
  142. ^ Harrison, Dan (31 August 2012). "Tasmania's gay marriage bill clears first hurdle". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 10 May 2014. 
  143. ^ "Tasmania's Upper House votes down gay marriage". ABC. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2014. 
  144. ^ Smiley, Stephen (26 November 2013). "Tasmanian Upper House MPs reject bid to revive debate on same-sex marriage". ABC. Retrieved 10 May 2014. 
  145. ^ "Chapter V. The States (Australian Constitution)". Parliament of Australia. 1 January 2017. 
  146. ^ LAW REFORM (GENDER, SEXUALITY AND DE FACTO RELATIONSHIPS) ACT 2003 Archived 22 December 2009 at WebCite
  147. ^ Acts Amendment (Lesbian and Gay Law Reform) Act 2002 Archived 22 December 2009 at WebCite
  148. ^ "CITY OF SYDNEY RELATIONSHIPS DECLARATION PROGRAM" (PDF). Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  149. ^ "Yarra Council - Relationship Declaration Register". Archived from the original on 21 December 2016. 
  150. ^ "Woollahra to get same-sex register - Star Observer". www.starobserver.com.au. Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  151. ^ Day, Clear Blue. "Blue Mountains City Council - Relationship Declaration". Archived from the original on 1 February 2016. 
  152. ^ "City of Vincent : Relationship Declaration Register". Archived from the original on 15 November 2015. 
  153. ^ "Relationship Declaration Register » Town of Port Hedland". 
  154. ^ "Relationship declaration register thing of the past". cbdnews.com.au. 10 May 2018. 
  155. ^ Relationship Declaration Register City of Melbourne
  156. ^ a b "Local Government Association members support marriage equality". OutinPerth. 22 June 2016. 
  157. ^ "Local Governments Across Australia Back Marriage Equality". Victorian Local Governance Association. Retrieved 25 June 2016. 
  158. ^ Wade, Matthew (23 June 2016). "Australia's local governments call on Turnbull to pass marriage equality". Star Observer. 
  159. ^ "ALGA Board action to pursue National General Assembly Resolutions" (PDF). alga.asn.au. 21 July 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 May 2017. Refer to Resolution 50 on page 20 
  160. ^ "City of Melbourne poised to become latest local government to support marriage equality (see here for first 31 councils listed below)". Star Observer. 23 October 2015. 
  161. ^ a b c d "JOIN LOCAL COUNCILS THAT SUPPORT MARRIAGE EQUALITY". Australian Marriage Equality. Retrieved 24 March 2016. 
  162. ^ "Sydney council supports gay marriage". Australian Marriage Equality. 8 November 2011. 
  163. ^ "Council backs gay marriage". 
  164. ^ Gramenz, Emilie (14 April 2015). "Hobart City Council backs gay marriage in unanimous vote, calls for Federal Government to prioritise debate on Marriage Act changes". ABC News. 
  165. ^ Jahshan, Elias (20 November 2014). "Melbourne's Moreland Council passes motion supporting gay marriage". Star Observer. 
  166. ^ "Hawkesbury Council votes to support marriage equality". Hawkesbury Gazette. 10 August 2016. 
  167. ^ Potts, Andrew (15 March 2011). "RANDWICK COUNCIL BACKS MARRIAGE EQUALITY". Star Observer. 
  168. ^ "Council lend support to gay marriage proposal". The Tenterfield Star. 1 October 2014. 
  169. ^ "INNER WEST COUNCIL ADMINISTRATOR UNDER FIRE FOR SAME-SEX MARRIAGE SUPPORT". Archived from the original on 16 July 2016. Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  170. ^ Bega Valley Shire Council Votes to Support Marriage Equality
  171. ^ Mills, Nicole (31 August 2014). "Surf Coast council vote supports marriage equality despite controvery [sic]". Geelong Advertiser. 
  172. ^ "HEPBURN PRO GAY MARRIAGE". Retrieved 5 September 2017. [permanent dead link]
  173. ^ "Lismore council backs marriage equality after heated debate". Australian Marriage Equality. 16 May 2013. 
  174. ^ DEAN, SARAH (25 November 2014). "Councillors vote to support same sex marriage". 
  175. ^ Wu, Nadia (27 November 2014). "City of Ballarat backs same-sex marriage". The Courier. 
  176. ^ "Wodonga Council latest to declare support for gay marriage - Star Observer". www.starobserver.com.au. Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  177. ^ "Marriage equality a step closer". 
  178. ^ "Gay bay: Council votes to support gay marriage in Byron". Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  179. ^ Kellett, Andrea (24 September 2014). "Glen Eira Council votes to publicly support same-sex marriage, angering religious groups". Herald Sun. 
  180. ^ "Another council backs marriage". Star Observer. 4 April 2012. 
  181. ^ "Darebin Council to pass motion to offer resources to marriage equality campaign". Herald Sun. 16 August 2017. 
  182. ^ Carpenter, Charlie (13 March 2015). "Buloke country shire council praised for supporting gay marriage". Star Observer. 
  183. ^ a b Maribyrnong & Shepparton councils back marriage equality
  184. ^ "Council's nod on gay marriage". Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  185. ^ "Strathbogie council in north-east Victoria votes to support marriage equality". ABC News. 22 October 2015. 
  186. ^ "Melbourne council backs gay marriage". The Australian. 28 October 2015. 
  187. ^ Laura Armitage (19 August 2015). "Banyule Council supports marriage equality and a Federal conscience vote". Leader (News Corp). 
  188. ^ Reg Domingo (21 October 2015). "Yarra City becomes latest council to unanimously pass motion backing marriage equality". Gay News Network. Archived from the original on 22 October 2015. 
  189. ^ "Indigo Council pledges support for all love and marriage equality". The Border Mail. 29 November 2016. 
  190. ^ McNeill, Heather (22 October 2015). "Port Hedland an unlikely leader in marriage equality". WA News. 
  191. ^ "Darwin votes to support marriage equality". Gay News Network. 23 March 2016. Archived from the original on 26 March 2016. 
  192. ^ "LNP-dominated Brisbane Council backs same-sex marriage ahead of federal election". ABC News. 17 May 2016. 
  193. ^ "Council supports gay marriage". Star Observer. 2 September 2012. 
  194. ^ Council;jurisdiction=NSW, personalName=Lake Macquarie City Council;corporateName=Lake Macquarie City. "404 - Page not found" (PDF). www.lakemac.com.au. Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  195. ^ "Shoalhaven Council shows support for marriage equality". Retrieved 5 September 2017. [permanent dead link]
  196. ^ Warden, Hayley (1 February 2017). "Council united in battle for marriage equality". Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  197. ^ "Monash Council comes out in support of marriage equality". Archived from the original on 10 March 2017. Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  198. ^ "Kingston Council expresses support for marriage equality - Kingston City Council". www.kingston.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2017-12-14. 
  199. ^ a b Hill, Leigh (26 April 2017). "Two WA councils pass motions to support marriage equality". OUTinPerth. 
  200. ^ "We Do: Bass Coast commits". Bass Coast Post. 18 May 2017. 
  201. ^ "Marriage equality gets nod from Willoughby". Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  202. ^ "home". amp.dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  203. ^ Houlihan, Rachael (3 July 2017). "City council in support of marriage equality". Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  204. ^ "Noosa shire council voices support for marriage equality - OUTInPerth – Gay and Lesbian News and Culture". www.outinperth.com. Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  205. ^ "Woollahra Council backs gay marriage". Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  206. ^ "Far North council takes stand on marriage equality". The Cairns Post. 23 August 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2017. 
  207. ^ Shire, Campaspe (21 August 2017). "Last week council agreed to support #marriageequality @AMEquality @Viccouncils @WINNews_Ben @lgbti @TwitterAU @AusGovlink @aus @Countrynewspic.twitter.com/ErneAGVAdT". Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  208. ^ "The City of Newcastle supports #marriagequality for all Novocastrians! C'mon @TurnbullMalcolm it's time!"
  209. ^ "Marriage equality"
  210. ^ "BREAKING NEWS: Stonnington City Council has passed the following proposal on #marriageequality at their meeting this evening."
  211. ^ LIVE: Bendigo council meeting
  212. ^ Marriage equality motion at Bellingen Council meeting
  213. ^ Councillor Asks Nillumbik to Support Equality & IDAHOBIT
  214. ^ "Advocate slams launceston council over marriage equality defeat". Australian Marriage Equality. 11 March 2015. 
  215. ^ "Campaspe Shire rejects motion to support same-sex marriage, urges public to lobby politicians for change". ABC News. 16 September 2015. 
  216. ^ "The Essential Report: 13 March 2018" (PDF). Essential Research. 13 March 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018. 
  217. ^ Murphy, Katharine (4 October 2017). "Support for marriage equality rises in Guardian Essential poll". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 October 2017. 
  218. ^ "The Essential Report: 3 October 2017" (PDF). Essential Research. 3 October 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2017. 
  219. ^ Massola, James; Koziol, Michael (9 September 2017). "Support for same-sex marriage falling and 'no' vote rising, advocate polling shows". Sydney Morning Herald. 
  220. ^ a b David Crowe (21 August 2017). "Same-sex marriage must protect religious freedom: Newspoll". The Australian. 
  221. ^ "The Essential Report: 4 July 2017" (PDF). Essential Media Communications. 4 July 2017. 
  222. ^ "YouGov-Fifty Acres: L-NP 36, ALP 33, Greens 12, One Nation 7". 13 July 2017. 
  223. ^ "New Galaxy poll on marriage equality". 13 February 2017. 
  224. ^ "The Essential Report: 30 August 2016" (PDF). Essential Media Communications. 30 August 2016. 
  225. ^ "The Essential Report: 15 March 2016" (PDF). Essential Media Communications. 15 March 2016. 
  226. ^ a b "Large majority of Australians (76%) in favour of allowing gay marriage". 
  227. ^ "The Essential Report: 27 October 2015 (see pages 9 & 10)" (PDF). Essential Media Communications. 27 October 2015. 
  228. ^ "The Essential Report" (PDF). 25 August 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2015. 
  229. ^ "Labor lead increases after 'Choppergate' scandal – Fairfax Ipsos Poll". Ipsos. 17 August 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 
  230. ^ "7 News - National Poll - 30 July 2015". 
  231. ^ Phillip Coorey (16 June 2015). "Fairfax/Ipsos poll: Gay marriage support at record". Australian Financial Review. 
  232. ^ Natasha Bita (July 16, 2014). "Marriage equality wins support of two out of three". The Australian. 
  233. ^ Mark Textor (15 July 2014). "New poll shows record 72% support for marriage equality". Crosby Textor Group. Archived from the original on 14 January 2015. 
  234. ^ "Gay marriage support up but it won't change poll". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  235. ^ "Same-Sex Marriage". Ipsos. 7–21 May 2013. Archived from the original on 14 March 2016. 
  236. ^ "L-NP 54.5% (down 0.5%) lead down in a week over ALP 45.5% (up 0.5%) after Ford announces it is pulling out of Australia and Swan Services cleaning company closes its doors". 27 May 2013. 
  237. ^ "Poll shows support of gay marriage at high". 7 August 2012. 
  238. ^ Conscience Vote on SS-M (PDF) (Report). 
  239. ^ "Same-Sex Marriage Study (October 2010)" (PDF). Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  240. ^ "Same Sex Marriage Report (July 2009)" (PDF). Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  241. ^ "Public backs gay unions, equality". theage.com.au. 
  242. ^ "Same-sex Marriage Debate". spinneypress.com.au. 
  243. ^ Same-sex marriage ranked Australia's most historic event The Age, 23 January 2018
  244. ^ Change to marriage law must include protections for religious freedom
  245. ^ Australian Baptists View on Same Sex Marriage.
  246. ^ "MINUTES OF THE FOURTH DAY OF THE SEVENTEENTH GENERAL SYNOD OF THE ANGLICAN CHURCH OF AUSTRALIA HELD IN SYNOD HALL, WANDINY ROOM, NOVOTEL TWIN WATERS RESORT, MAROOCHYDORE ON THURSDAY 7 SEPTEMBER 2017" (PDF). Anglican Church of Australia. Retrieved 16 January 2018. 
  247. ^ "Same-sex marriage Yes vote threatens to divide Anglican Church". ABC News. 16 November 2017. 
  248. ^ The Ceremony of Marriage According to the Rites of The Greek Orthodox Church
  249. ^ Same-sex marriage is legal, so why have churches been so slow to embrace it?
  250. ^ PASTORAL STATEMENT WITHIN THE DENOMINATION
  251. ^ Chapter 24 - Of Marriage and Divorce
  252. ^ Sandeman, John (13 July 2018). "Uniting Church to hold same sex marriages". Eternity. Australia. Retrieved 13 July 2018. 
  253. ^ Same-sex marriage: Why have Muslims been so quiet in the debate?
  254. ^ MARRIAGE FROM AN ISLAMIC VIEWPOINT
  255. ^ The Federation of Australian Buddhist Council's position of Same Sex Marriage
  256. ^ Hindu clergy re-clarifies position on marriage as "between a man and a woman"
  257. ^ "Couple holds Australia's first same-sex Jewish wedding". Times of Israel. 16 May 2018. 

External links[edit]