Third Australian jurisdiction to legalize same-sex marriage?

A third Australian jurisdiction has opened the door for the legalization of same-sex marriage at a state and territory level in an embarrassing slap down for opponents

Third Australian jurisdiction to legalize same-sex marriage?
22 August 2012

Australia’s Northern Territory may become the country’s third jurisdiction to legalize same-sex marriage after the ruling Labor Party announced it would allow its members a conscience vote on the issue if such legislation came before the territory’s parliament.

Embarrassingly for opponents, the announcement was made by NT Labor to the main lobby group opposed to same-sex marriage in Australia.

In reply to a survey by the anti-gay Australian Christian Lobby, the party wrote, ‘If there is a proposal to amend the definition of marriage in the Territory, members of the Australian Labor Party will vote according to their conscience.’

The party also refused to rule out giving same-sex couples the right to adopt children.

Currently only married couples, and in limited circumstances, single persons can adopt in the Northern Territory

With no Greens party MPs currently sitting in the NT Parliament, a private members bill for same-sex marriage would have to be put forward from within Labor’s own ranks. But that may change at the upcoming Northern Territory election where the Greens could win a seat.

The announcement follows statements by the South Australian and Tasmanian state governments that they would move to legalize same-sex marriage under state law if the Australian government refused to do so at a national level.

Australian Marriage Equality national convenor Alex Greenwich praised the move by the NT Government.

‘We applaud NT Labor for opening up the possibility of the Northern Territory joining Tasmanian and South Australia in allowing same-sex couples to marry,’ Greenwich said.

‘If the Northern Territory were to pass marriage equality it would send a strong message to the rest of the nation that the time has come for national reform.’

Northern Territorians go to the polls on Saturday in what is predicted to be a close election.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Russia gang storm gay festival, release gas, 16 in hospital

16 people are in hospital after Vitaly Milonov, as well as some anti-gay thugs, ruined the opening day of a LGBTI event in St Petersburg
No thumbnail available

Guatemalan trans activist saved from deportation at the last hour

Fernanda Milan gains last minute reprieve from being sent back to Guatemala, where her life was in danger
No thumbnail available

Nick Clegg pays tribute to gay marriage passing final vote in England and Wales

As two nations of the United Kingdom celebrate and praise pours in, the deputy Prime Minister calls same-sex marriage passing an 'extraordinary step'
No thumbnail available

Queen wanted anti-gay cleric Abu Hamza arrested

In a private conversation, Queen Elizabeth II raised concerns over why the British government could not arrest the Muslim cleric
No thumbnail available

Indiana pizzeria: 'We will never deliver pizza to a gay wedding'

Family who own restaurant says they now have the right to refuse service
No thumbnail available

‘She-mail’ dropped from RuPaul’s Drag Race after outrage

Producers of the hit TV show apologize for using the ‘transphobic slur’ and will remove it from all programming
No thumbnail available

New trailer: Bridesmaids’ Kristen Wiig stars in gay drama comedy

Saturday Night Live alumni reunites in The Skeleton Twins, as well as starring Modern Family's Ty Burrell
Park Grove, Coconut Grove, Miami, Florida

Park Grove, Coconut Grove, Miami, Florida

Luxurious apartments in one of Miami's most stunning new developments, looking out over Biscayne Bay
No thumbnail available

Pope Francis supports referendum in Slovakia banning gay marriage and adoption

Head of Catholic encourages 'everyone to continue their efforts in defense of the family'
No thumbnail available

Allow brothers and sisters to marry if you want equality, MP says

Sir Roger Gale makes reference to incest while speaking out agianst marriage equality in the House of Commons