Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has announced she will introduce a bill to legally recognize same-sex marriages performed in overseas jurisdictions in reaction to same-sex couples in England and Wales being able to marry from tomorrow.
Hanson-Young has also proposed an inquiry to examine the affect that the legalization of same-sex marriage has had in those jurisdictions where it is legal which would then draft a report for the parliament.
Hanson-Young made the announcement at a press conference earlier today in Melbourne.
Since the United Kingdom legalized civil partnerships in 2006 nearly 500 same-sex couples where at least one partner is a UK citizen have married on Australian soil at British consulates and there is likely to be a similar flood of dual-national same-sex couples marrying at consulates starting in June.
Hanson-Young’s announcements were welcomed by the Australian campaign for marriage equality, with Australian Marriage Equality (AME) national director Rodney Croome saying he still believes the reform can be achieved under Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
‘Australia can not hold back the global tide of equality forever,’ Croome said, ‘An important first step will be to respect the solemn vows Australians make overseas and recognize their legal marriages in Australian law.’
‘Another important step is a Senate inquiry into the impact of marriage equality overseas which we believe will show the reform has nothing but positive impacts on same-sex couples, their families and society.
‘Marriage equality in Britain was achieved through a cross-party free vote under a Conservative Government, and I am confident marriage equality can pass under the same conditions in Australia.’