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October 21, 2014

Gough Whitlam, who lead the Australian Government from 1972 to 1975 and was one of the first Labor Party leaders to champion the rights of gays and lesbians, passed away this morning aged 98

One of the first major Australian political figures to champion equal rights for gays and lesbians has passed away this morning, aged 98.

Gough Whitlam was leader of the Australian Labor Party from 1967 to 1977 and Australia’s prime minister from 1972 to 1975 – a period of incredible reform for Australia before his government was dismissed to end a constitutional crisis.

October 16, 2014

New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania have introduced bills to repeal laws forcing married transgender people to divorce before their new gender is recognized

Three Australian states today introduced bills to scrap laws that require married transgender people to divorce before their new gender is recognized.

Legislation was introduced in New South Wales by Greens legislative council member Mehreen Faruqi and Independent legislative assembly member Alex Greenwich, in South Australia by Greens legislative council member Tammy Franks, and by Greens house of assembly member Nick McKim in Tasmania.

March 25, 2014

The Aam Aadmi Party will put the legalization of homosexuality at the top of its election manifesto as it seeks to win its first seats in the Indian Parliament and break into national politics

India’s fledgling Aam Aadmi Party is betting that championing the rights of women and minorities and fighting against corruption will be winning issues for voters as the party seeks to elect its first lawmakers in the nation’s parliament.

Aam Aadmi was established only 18 months ago but won 28 of the 70 seats in the Delhi Legislative Assembly in 2013 – making them the second largest party in the National Capital Territory of Delhi (the Indian equivalent of Washington DC) and allowing them to form a minority government with the Indian National Congress Party.

February 20, 2014

The Liberal president of the Western Australia state Legislative Council has ruled that a Greens Party bill that would allow same-sex marriages at a state level can be considered by the chamber

A bill to allow same-sex marriages at a state level cleared its first hurdle in the Western Australia state Parliament on Tuesday with the Liberal Party’s President of the Legislative Chamber ruling not to withdraw the Same-Sex Marriage Bill introduced by Greens Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) Lynn MacLaren late last year.

February 17, 2014

Just over 1 percent of same-sex civil unions have been dissolved in the six years that they have been available to gay couples in the Australian Capital Territory

Only 1.1% of same-sex couples in civil unions in the Australian Capital Territory have divorced in the past 6 years – a far lower figure than the number of heterosexual divorces.

Only 9 same-sex couples have sought to have their civil unions annulled since civil unions became available to them in the territory in May of 2008.

In that time there have been 799 civil unions and 8,711 heterosexual marriages recognized in the Australian Capital Territory.

January 15, 2014

The Liberal opposition in the Australian Capital Territory have said they would support any bid to clear the criminal records of gay men prosecuted for having adult consensual sex prior to the decriminalization of homosexuality

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Liberal Opposition leader Jeremy Hanson has told the Canberra Times that he would support efforts to clear the records of men who were convicted for consensual gay sex prior to the decriminalization of homosexuality in Australia.

January 14, 2014

New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory will consider joining Victoria and Tasmania in wiping convictions of men charged with having adult gay sex before it was decriminalized

The Australian state of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory may follow Victoria and Tasmania in quashing historical convictions for gay sex before it was legalized.

January 3, 2014

If 2013 was marked by setbacks for LGBTI rights, what can we expect from 2014?

LGBTI activists in many parts of the world will look back on 2013 as one of the worst years in memory for the cause of equal rights. In countries as far apart as Uganda and India, Russia and Australia, organizations and human rights defenders have been trying to assess the damage and work out new strategies to make 2014 a year of progress rather than retreat.

Many of the worst blows came in the closing weeks of 2013. In a long-awaited decision, the Indian Supreme Court effectively re-criminalized homosexuality, overturning an earlier ruling in Delhi.

December 12, 2013

Australia’s High Court has annulled the first legal same-sex marriages on Australian soil, striking down the Australian Capital Territory’s gay marriage law

Australia’s High Court has found the Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) same-sex marriage law to be inconsistent with Australia’s national Marriage Act and thus struck it down.

The High Court made its verdict on the legality of the first same-sex marriages in Australia known earlier today.

‘The High Court decided unanimously that the Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013, enacted by the Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory, cannot operate concurrently with the federal Marriage Act 1961,’ the justices wrote in a summary of their judgement.

December 11, 2013

A group of Australian senators from the Liberal, Greens and Labor parties have formed a cross-party working group to work towards the legalization of same-sex marriage in Australia

Senators from the three largest political factions in the Australian Parliament have today announced the formation of a cross-party working group to push for the legalization of same-sex marriage in Australia.

At around 10.30am this morning the Greens' Senator Sarah Hason-Young, Liberal Senator Sue Boyce, and Labor Senator Louise Pratt signed a pledge of co-operation that will form the basis for the working group.

December 7, 2013

West Australian state Labor MP Stephen Dawson and partner Dennis Liddleton have become the first gay couple to be legally married on Australian soil, marrying at 12.01 this morning as the Australian Capital Territory’s law came into effect

The first same-sex couples have been legally married in Australia after the Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) same-sex marriage law came into effect just after midnight last night.

West Australian state Labor MP Stephen Dawson and partner Dennis Liddleton became the first male same-sex couple to be legally married on Australian soil, marrying on the forecourt of the Australian Parliament at 12.01am this morning.

Following his wedding Dawson said he was ‘jubilant’ at being able to call Liddleton his husband.

December 3, 2013

The High Court of Australia has elected not to hand down its ruling on the legality of territory based same-sex marriages before couples can begin to wed in the Australian Capital Territory in a blow for the Australian Government – but the court could still find them invalid

Australia’s highest court will not hand down its ruling on the Australian Government’s challenge to a same-sex marriage law in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) until after same-sex couples have begun marrying in that jurisdiction.

Same-sex couples will be able to begin marrying in the ACT on Saturday and the court has scheduled to hand down its ruling five days after that, allowing a window in which dozens of Australian same-sex couples are likely to wed.

December 2, 2013

Australia’s highest court of appeal will hear a legal challenge to the Australian Capital Territory's same-sex marriage law tomorrow and Wednesday, as same-sex couples prepare to marry under the territory’s law on Saturday

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.

November 29, 2013

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) will seek to pass a law ensuring transgender people don’t have to undergo surgery before they can be recognized as their preferred gender and will create a new category for intersex people and those of indeterminate sex

The territory that houses Australia’s capital of Canberra will seek to remove a requirement that transgender people undergo surgery before they can change their birth certificates to reflect the gender they identify as - and plans to recognize intersex people and those of indeterminate gender with a new category on documentation.

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government announced the plans yesterday and hopes to pass a bill enacting the proposed changes in the territory Legislative Assembly next year.

November 5, 2013

Same-sex couples will not be able to marry in the Australian Capital Territory before the High Court of Australia hears the issue but some will marry before it rules
 

The High Court of Australia will hear a challenge against the Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) law allowing same-sex marriage before same-sex couples will be able to marry there in a potential blow for efforts to allow same-sex marriage in Australia.

The High Court will hear the challenge from 3 to 4 December, while same-sex couples will not be able to marry before 8 December.

A mass of couples will likely marry in the ACT before the court rules on the legality of their marriages but they may be struck down just weeks later.

October 30, 2013

The Newcastle Knights National Rugby League club has said it does not share the views of player Ryan Stig who posted anti-gay comments to social media, while another Christian rugby player has taken him to task over them

Newcastle Knights player Ryan Stig has lashed out at the Australian Capital Territory over its legalization of same-sex marriage, comparing homosexuality to alcoholism, but his club doesn’t appreciate the comparison.

‘I am seeing more and more deceived Christian leaders and individuals commenting on #gaymarriage here's my thoughts,’ Stig posted on Twitter 23 October along with an image containing a longwinded rant on same-sex marriage.

October 25, 2013

Same-sex couples will have just days to be able to marry in the Australian Capital Territory in December before the High Court hears the Australian Government’s challenge to the law

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.

October 24, 2013

Liberal leader has promised to continue to fight Canberra and the ACT allowing same-sex couples to marry starting from December

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott will attend his gay sister’s wedding but will not support the marriage.

Christina Forster’s is engaged to partner Virginia Edwards, but the Liberal party leader will not change his position to fight against the country’s first same-sex marriage laws in the Australian Capital Territory.

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.

October 24, 2013

The High Court of Australia has bowed to the Australian Government’s request to have its challenge to the Australian Capital Territory’s same-sex marriage law expedited and will hold a first directions hearing tomorrow at 2.15pm

Australia’s highest court will begin hearing a challenge to the country’s first same-sex marriage law tomorrow at 2.15pm after it agreed to expedite an Australian Government challenge to the constitutionality of an Australian Capital Territory (ACT) bill allowing same-sex couples to marry.

The Australian Government has warned same-sex couples not to try to marry until the bill’s constitutionality has been established but GSN understands many will seek to marry in the window that the law operates while the High Court of Australia deliberates on it.

October 22, 2013

The Australian Capital Territory has become the first Australian jurisdiction to allow same-sex couples to marry in a vote of eight to seven

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) will begin marrying same-sex couples before year’s end following a vote in the ACT Legislative Assembly.

The Australian Government has vowed to challenge the ACT law in the High Court but the ACT Government moved 25 amendments to the bill on the advice of constitutional experts to shore it up against any court challenge.

The ACT Liberal Opposition voted against the bill and amendments as a block.

October 17, 2013

The Australian Capital Territory is set to become the first Australian jurisdiction to allow same-sex couples to marry when it passes a bill next Tuesday despite the threat of court action by the Australian Government

Same-sex couples are likely to begin marrying in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) before the end of the year after the ACT Government announced it would pass a bill allowing same-sex marriage at a territory level next Tuesday.

The ACT will do so despite threats by the Australian Government to take the territory to the High Court of Australia over the law to seek to have it declared unconstitutional.

October 15, 2013

Australian Federal Police have alleged that military cadet Daniel McDonald, found guilty of broadcasting sex with a female cadet on Skype without her knowledge, was part of a group of footballers who hazed members with gay sex acts

An Australian military cadet, who has been found guilty of filming himself having sex with a female cadet without her knowledge and then broadcasting it on Skype, is alleged to have been involved in a group of military footballers who performed a homoerotic hazing ritual for members.

October 11, 2013

The Australian campaign for the legalization of same-sex marriage has responded to Attorney-General George Brandis threat to challenge the Australian Capital Territory's (ACT) marriage equality bill, saying they have confidence in the legislation and that the High Court threat will only encourage more couples to get married sooner

Australian campaigners for marriage equality have said that the Australian Government's plans to challenge the Australian Capital Territory's (ACT) law allowing same-sex couples to marry will only prompt a flood of couples marrying in the territory.

'The Federal Government's plans do not come as a surprise. We are confident the law would survive a high court challenge,' Australian Marriage Equality Deputy Director Ivan Hinton said.

October 7, 2013

The Australian Government has indicated it will challenge an attempt to legalize same-sex marriage in Australia’s Capital Territory in the courts, claiming such marriages would be unconstitutional


The Australian Government will seek to have same-sex marriages conducted in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) declared unconstitutional in the High Court of Australia when the ACT Government passes its law.