Independent MP Bob Such has introduced a Civil Partnership Bill to state parliament in South Australia today.
‘I am introducing this bill at the request of a couple who happen to be a same-sex couple but who want this particular option available to them,’ said Such, emphasising that he is not against same-sex marriage and this bill wasn’t meant to replace that.
Such went on to describe the bill in more detail saying both individuals must live in South Australian and they will not be able to enter a civil partnership if they are already in one, or they are married.
‘This arrangement is for two adult persons who are in a relationship as a couple and who meet the eligibility criteria, irrespective of their gender, to register their relationship as a civil partnership,’ Such said.
The civil partnership would also be available to straight couples.
Australian Marriage Equality released a statement today saying the bill was a distraction from full marriage legislation in South Australia.
‘South Australia has a unique opportunity to lead the nation by enacting laws allowing same-sex marriage, and the Civil Partnerships Bill should not be a distraction from that opportunity,’ said national convenor Rodney Croome.
South Australian MLC (Member of the Legislative Council) Tammy Franks introduced a marriage equality bill to the state parliament last February. And the South Australian Liberal Party leader has agreed to allow a conscience vote on the issue, unlike on a federal level.
South Australia’s Social Inclusion Minister Ian Hunter announced he will co-sponsor the bill this month and him and Franks hope to make the legislation a reality in 2013.