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Australia Capital Territory LGBT rights and marriage equality news


Same-sex marriage: Greens set date for parliamentary vote

Monday, May 25th, 2015

The Greens will bring forward a Senate debate on the party’s marriage equality bill next month, in a bid to stir Federal Parliament into action on same-sex marriage.

The party has also set November 12 for a Senate vote on the bill, before Parliament rises for the summer.

In the wake of Ireland’s historic vote to legalise same-sex marriage on the weekend, Liberal backers of same-sex marriage have also been calling for the party to decide its position on a free vote by the end of the year.

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young already has a private member’s bill to legalise same-sex marriage before Parliament.
On Tuesday, she will announce the party will use its allotted Senate time on June 18 to start debate on the bill.

“Gay and lesbian Australians deserve better than being treated as second-class citizens; it’s well and truly time the Parliament acted,” Senator Hanson-Young said.

“Cupid doesn’t discriminate and neither should the law.”

The party has then nominated November 12 for a vote on the bill. This would be in the second last sitting week of the year.

Full story from the canberra times.

Marry Me Gay is a guest blogger for Purple Unions.
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Same-sex couples can use British laws to marry in Australia June 27th

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

UK Gay flag

Hooray, another small step forward for equality in Australia.

Same-sex couples in which one partner has British citizenship will be able to marry from June 27 in British consulates in Sydney and Perth, with Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra to follow soon after.

The Abbott government signalled in March that it had no objection to British consulates in Australia being used to host same-sex weddings after same-sex marriage was legalised in England and Wales.

Australian Marriage Equality national director Rodney Croome said nearly 300 Australian couples had married in New Zealand since its government passed marriage equality laws last year and similar numbers would use the British laws to marry in consulates in Australian cities.
However it is worth noting that couples who marry under the British laws will not have their marriages recognised in Australia.

More Information

Marry Me Gay is a guest blogger for Purple Unions.
Marry Me Gay and our sister website Equally Wed provide all the resources for same-sex marriage in Australia & New Zealand, products & services. |

Australia: High Court Strikes Down ACT Marriage Equality Law

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Australia MapIt’s very disappointing week for LGBT rights around the world. First the decision reinstating India’s sodomy law, and now this.

The Washington Blade reports:

Australia’s highest court on Thursday struck down the Australian Capital Territory’s same-sex marriage law. The Australia High Court unanimously ruled the statute that ACT lawmakers narrowly approved nearly two months ago cannot remain in effect alongside a federal law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. “Only a marriage conforming to that definition may be formed or recognized in Australia,” the decision reads. “The provisions of the ACT Act which deal with the rights of parties to marriages formed under that Act and with the dissolution of such marriages can have no valid operation.”

The Australian Capital Territory legislature will now likely reintroduce a civil unions bill.

The Canberra Times reports:

When the Assembly approved the marriage equality scheme in November, it also repealed laws that enabled same-sex couples to enter into legally-recognised civil unions. Existing civil unions are still legally valid. ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell said the government would consider the High Court’s ruling before considering the reintroduction of civil unions.

How long will Australia’s LGBT community have to live with the legacy of Julia Gillard’s opposition to marriage equality? With conservatives in power once again, it could be years and years.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Australia.

Australia, ACT: First Same-Sex Couples to Legally Marry Tomorrow

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Sydney Opera HouseThe Australian Capital Territory’s marriage equality law goes into effect tomorrow, and couples have five days to marry before the country’s High Court hands down its ruling on the issue.

ABC news reports:

A state lawmaker and his partner plan to fly 3,500 kilometers (2,200 miles) across Australia to become one of the nation’s first same-sex couples to legally marry at an after-midnight ceremony in the Australian capital. Stephen Dawson, a 38-year-old member of the opposition Labor Party in the Western Australian Parliament, and partner Dennis Liddelow, 39, are among at least two gay couples planning ceremonies in Canberra at 12:01 a.m. Saturday — the earliest opportunity under the provincial government’s landmark gay marriage laws. But Australia’s first gay marriages could be short lived, with the High Court to rule Thursday on a federal government challenge to the validity of the Australian Capital Territory law.

On the other hand (glass half-full), a ruling in favor of the law could open the door to marriage equality in other states, especially New South Wales and Tasmania.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Australia.

Australia: Five Days of Weddings in the ACT

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Australia MapGay and lesbian couples have five days to marry before the country’s High Court issues its ruling on the district’s marriage equality law.

Joe.My.God reports:

The court’s six judges heard the case today and announced that they would deliver their ruling on December 12. The first weddings are scheduled to take place in Canberra on Saturday, the first opportunity under the legal conditions. The federal government’s lawyer, Justin Gleeson, told the court that having differing marriage laws in various Australian states and territories would create confusion. The ACT government argues that its same-sex marriage laws should stand because they govern couples outside the federal definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman. Ivan Hinton and Chris Teoh, who attended the court hearing, plan to marry on Saturday. Mr Hinton said he knew of at least 12 other same-sex couples who planned to do the same.

How many couples will be married during the brief window? How will the Court rule? And will the weddings be overturned? Stay tuned.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Australia.

Australia: High Court Will Hear Challenge to ACT’s Marriage Equality Law Tomorrow

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Sydney, AustraliaAustralia’s first marriage equality law is about to be challenged in court by the federal government.

Gay Star News reports:

The High Court of Australia is due to hear the Australian Government’s case against the Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) Marriage Equality Act on Tuesday and Wednesday, with same-sex marriages due to commence in the territory Saturday. The Australian Government claims the law is unconstitutional and is seeking to have it repealed but the Australian Capital Territory believes it is on solid legal ground having drafted its bill on the advice of several prominent constitutional experts with a view to survive any legal challenge.

If the law survives the challenge, it could pave the way for Australia’s states to pass similar legislation. You have to wonder if the previous government would have let the law be.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Australia.

Australia: Huge Marches for Marriage Equality

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

Melbourne Marriage Equality Rally 11/24/13

Photo by Matt Davis, Melbourne

Australia’s LGBT community marched for marriage equality across the country today.

O-blog-dee-o-blog-da reports:

Thousands of LGBT people and allies braved the rain and marched in Australia today, in support of marriage equality, in different centers, including Melbourne, where a crowd of about 600 descended on Parliament. Prime Minister Tony Abbott is anti-marriage equality. Although he attended his gay sister’s wedding to support her, he does not believe marriage should be a civil right for gays and lesbians. Many called for an end to his homophobia.

Conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbot is still refusing t bring the marriage equality bill up for a vote. Recent polls have shown that between 62 and 64% of Australians approve of marriage equality.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Australia.

How same-sex couples can get married in the ACT (Australia)

Monday, November 11th, 2013

ACT Australia

The ACT becomes the very first state to legislate marriage equality through a state government vote.
Here are your questions answered on the current Marriage Equality legislation in the ACT. Please share for all those who have some questions. When can l get married? How long they must wait to get a marriage license? Is it recognised outside the ACT?

On the 13th September 2013, The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government made the announcement that will legalise same-sex marriage!
On October 10th 2013, the federal Attorney-General confirmed that the Commonwealth Government will challenge the proposed ACT bill, stating that the Coalition Government has significant constitutional concerns with respect to the ACT bill. The bill was debated in the ACT Legislative Assembly on 22 October 2013, and passed by 9 votes to 8 ACT becomes the very first state to legislate marriage equality through a state government vote.

When does same-sex marriage go into effect in the ACT?
Under the legislation, same-sex marriages will legally be allowed to be performed in the ACT from 8th December 2013.

However the High Court of Australia will hear the Commonwealth’s challenge on December 3rd & 4th.

Do l have to live in the ACT to get married?
No, anyone can apply for a marriage license in the ACT.

Where can l apply for a marriage license?
A “Notice of Intention to Marry” form must be given to the authorised celebrant who will perform the ceremony.

Is there a waiting period to get the marriage license?
There is a waiting period of ONE month.

Where can the marriage take place?
A marriage under the ACT legislation can only take place in the ACT.

Are there witnesses required in order to get legally married?
Yes two adult witnesses are required.

I am in a civil union – how does this affect me?
Civil unions will not be terminated under this new legislation. If you chose to marry then your ‘civil union’ will change to ‘married’

For more information:-

How much is the marriage license application fee?
+ Notice of Intention to Marry            – No Fee
+ Legal Marriage Certificate             –
*** there may be more fees dependent on your current relationship status.

Can I apply online for a marriage license?
You must print the ‘notice of intention to marry’ form which is t
hen given to an authorised celebrant.

What paperwork is required when I apply for my marriage license?
In total three forms of ID must accompany the application. One primary ID (birth certificate, a driver’s license, a passport) and 2 secondary (credit cards, student ID, firearms license, government employee photo-identity card etc…)
Full list here: want a marriage certificate

Who can perform the marriage ceremony?
An authorised celebrant registered under section 35 of the Act.
The Marriage Equality authorized celebrant register:

If I don’t live in the ACT, will my marriage be recognised by my home state?
No they will not..

Is my ACT same-sex marriage recognised by the Australian federal government?
Unfortunately, no it is not.

How do l change my name?
Complete the 206 CAN form which will cost you $104 or alternatively you can pay for and get a certificate delivered via registered post.

Marry Me Gay
is a guest blogger for Purple Unions.
We are the premier resource for same-sex marriage in Australia & New Zealand, products & services.

Australia: Some Couples to Marry Before High Court Challenge To ACT Marriage Equality Law

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Australia MapIt looks like there will be a brief window for same-sex couples to marry before the High Court hears the federal government’s challenge to the Australian Capital Territory’s new marriage equality law.

Gay Star News reports:

Same-sex couples will have a brief window of opportunity to begin marrying in Australia despite the Australian Government’s challenge in the High Court. The Australian Government had sought to expedite its challenge to the Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) law allowing same-sex couples to marry under territory law and the court held a directions hearing today at 2.15pm. However the case will not get a full hearing until mid-December and the ACT law comes into effect in early December – leaving a window in which same-sex couples will be able to marry before the court decides their constitutionality.

As we’ve noted before, it’s always a lot harder to tell couples who are already married that there marriages are invalid than to tell them that they can’t marry in the first place.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Australia.

Australia: Will New South Wales Pass a Marriage Equality Bill Next?

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Just a week after the Australian Capital Territory passed the first marriage equality bill in Australia, New South Wales may be set to follow. reports:

The parliament of New South Wales will debate a marriage equality bill next week, Sky News reports: The group consisting of Liberal, National, Greens, Labor and independent members say the bill follows community and legal consultation, including a parliamentary inquiry that found NSW has the constitutional power to legislate on marriage. Labor MLC Penny Sharpe said she will introduce the bill next Thursday. ‘The community and parliament can be confident we have done our due diligence to ensure we have the strongest bill possible; one that will allow loving and committed same-sex couples to marry in NSW and one that will withstand any high court challenge,’ she said.

The new conservative federal government is already moving to quash the law in the ACT.

Australia Prime Minister Tony AbbottIn related news, and general dickishness, new Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said he will attend his lesbian sisters wedding, but will not support it.

Gay Star News reports:

According to 3AW, Abbott said: ‘If there’s a ceremony of some kind, yes, I will be there with a present. I’ll do the right thing.’ He revealed he saw no way he could ever change his mind and support same-sex couples. Abbott added: ‘I am a traditionalist on this. From time immemorial in every culture that’s been known, marriage, or that kind of solemnised relationship, has been between a man and a women.’

Maybe the next time progresses gain power in Australia, they can choose someone actually progressive as their PM. Julia Gillard was a disaster for the LGBT community, and probably set back marriage equality 5 to 10 years in Australia. Just sayin’.