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Content about LGBT rights in Australia

July 20, 2014

South Australia is one of the few regions of Australia where gay couples cannot adopt, but that could change following a planned public consultation on its adoption laws

The State Government of South Australia is planning a long-awaited review of its adoption laws, which will include looking at whether same-sex couples and singles will be able to adopt.

Currently, South Australia does not allow either same-sex couples or single people to adopt.

This is in contrast to most other parts of Australia: New South Wales, ACT, Western Australia and Tasmania all allow adoption by gay couples and LGBT individuals, as well as same-sex step-parent adoption.

May 15, 2014

The Australian Senate will hold investigative hearings on whether to legally recognize same-sex marriages performed overseas after a Greens party senator put forward a bill on the issue

The Australian Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Committee will hold an inquiry on legally recognizing same-sex marriages performed overseas after Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young introduced a bill that would recognize them if passed.

Australia already recognizes heterosexual marriages which are legally conducted overseas and the Greens bill seeks to also recognize same-sex marriages performed overseas where they are legal.

May 3, 2014

Judge says the lesbian couple 'defrauded' French law by going to Belgium to conceive their now 4-year-old son via IVF

A Versailles Court has ruled that a married French woman cannot adopt the child she and her partner had conceived by IVF treatment carried out abroad.

The judge says the couple, who has not been named in the media, 'defrauded' French law by going to neighboring Belgium for the procedure, according to The Guardian.

March 28, 2014

Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young will introduce a bill to recognize overseas same-sex marriages in Australia as gay couples in the UK start to wed

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.

March 10, 2014

A far-right Catholic group is sending pamphlets to voters in the Australian state of Tasmania ahead of its state election – but the group sending them isn’t even from that state

A far-right Catholic group appears to be trying to influence the results of the Tasmanian state election – sending hand signed pamphlets to voters across that state - though the group is from a different state altogether.

The group behind the pamphlets is the Australian Traditional Families Property Bureau and has previously published publications including the anti-abortion ‘The Womb becomes a tomb: are we sacrificing to Moloch?’ and ‘Our Lady at Fátima: Prophecies of Tragedy or Hope?’

February 20, 2014

Members of parliament will discuss same-sex marriage in its initial stages today after 166,000 people called for marriage equality laws

Finland’s parliament will begin debating a bill to allow same-sex marriage today (20 February).

Despite same-sex marriage legislation being defeated before, gay rights activists are hoping politicians will do the right thing on their second chance.

But unlike last time, politicians are discussing the bill on the will of the people.

Under Finnish law, petitions can be started to force parliament to discuss bills that matter – called a ‘citizen’s initiative’.

February 8, 2014

Under new directive, federal lawyers will assume same-sex couples have the same rights like opposite-sex couples, including the right not to testify against a spouse

Early next week, the US Justice Department will announce plans to extend more federal protections to same-sex married couples, even those living in states where gay marriage is not recognized.

In a speech that will be given tonight (8 February) at a Human Rights Campaign gala in New York City, Attorney General Eric Holder will report government lawyers will, in federal courts, treat same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples the same.

January 23, 2014

From 1 July Australian couples, regardless of sexuality, will be able to receive $200 worth of free relationship counseling in an Australian Government scheme designed to combat relationship breakups

Same-sex and opposite-sex Australian couples will be able to access $200 worth of free relationship counseling from 1 July this year under a new Australian Government scheme but the Australian campaign for marriage equality says if the government is serious about keeping same-sex couples together it should just let them marry.

January 13, 2014

Calls have been made for convictions for gay sex before it was decriminalized to be wiped from people’s criminal records in the Australian states of Tasmania and New South Wales after the state of Victoria announced it would quash such convictions

Activists in the Australian states of Tasmania and New South Wales (NSW) have called on their state governments to wipe historical convictions for adult gay sex from people’s criminal records after it was announced the Victorian state government would become the first to do so.

January 3, 2014

A new study published by Hong Kong’s Center for Comparative and Public Law has found that 74% of residents in the Chinese autonomous territory support some level of legal recognition for same-sex relationships – though support for same-sex marriage remains low

A new report published by the Centre for Comparative and Public Law has shown that a majority of the Hong Kong public supports granting some legal recognition to same-sex couples.

Researchers Kelley Loper from the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law, Holning Lau from the University of North Carolina School of Law and Charles Lau from RTI International found that 74% of Hong Kongers thought same-sex couples should have some of the rights of opposite sex couples.

December 27, 2013

2013 saw many gains and set backs in the fight for LGBTI rights in Australia - GSN looks back on a year of struggle in the Great Southern Land

2013 was a tumultuous year for LGBTI rights in Australia, with significant victories on the road to reform but also significant short term obstacles put in its way.

The LGBTI community started 2013 on a bit of a high with the 2012 national conference of the then ruling Australian Labor Party adopting same-sex marriage as part of its party platform in December of 2012 – though the party stopped short of binding MPs to vote for the reform.

December 19, 2013

Nathan Gale from the Scottish Transgender Alliance celebrates after the Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee have unanimously passed an amendment that will make a huge different to the trans community

The Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee unanimously passed an amendment to the same sex marriage Bill today (19 December) proposed by the Equality Network and Scottish Transgender Alliance.

The amendment, which will allow couples to have gender neutral marriage ceremonies regardless of whether they are legally mixed sex or same sex, is a significant win for transgender and intersex people.

Without our amendment all mixed sex couples having religious marriage ceremonies would have had to declare themselves to be husband and wife.

December 12, 2013

Zoran Milanovic is determined to bring in more rights for gay couples after 65% of Croatian voters said they were against equal marriage

While Croatia may have voted at the ballot box to ban gay marriage, the liberal Prime Minister is determined to bring in rights for same-sex couples.

The government has presented ‘life partnership’ legislation today (12 December), allowing same-sex couples to officially register their relationship, inherit property from one another, and represent each other as next of kin.

They will be banned from marrying or adopting children.

With the government’s legislative majority, it means the bill is likely to pass.

November 25, 2013

The woman who has the power to sack Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced her support for marriage equality, but her decision to go public has been attacked by an openly gay government senator

Governor-General of Australia, Quentin Bryce, has gone public with her support for gay marriage – angering the Liberal-National Coalition’s first openly gay senator Dean Smith.

Delivering the final 2013 Boyer Lecture on Friday night in Sydney, Bryce said she hoped to one day see an Australia where ‘people are free to love and marry whom they choose.’

Advocates for same-sex marriage welcomed Bryce’s comments, saying they showed the importance that the issue now had with Australians.

November 14, 2013

Insider claims government is hoping English, Welsh and Scottish gay couples will be able to be married at the same time in summer 2014

The UK Government is waiting for Scotland to pass same-sex marriage before gay couples can marry in England and Wales, an official has claimed.

In the four months since the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act was passed into law, no formal reports have been made on implementation.

But while the government remains silent, an anonymous source involved in the development of the law has got in touch with us.

They have claimed it is taking a year because this will be roughly the amount of time the devolved Scottish parliament needs to fast-track the bill.

November 13, 2013

As thousands of gay couples in England and Wales are frustrated over having to wait a year to get married, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has called on the government to speed up

The UK Government still doesn’t know when England and Wales will see the first gay weddings, despite the law passing four months ago.

A Gay Star News Freedom of Information (FOI) request has revealed the UK government is not even prepared to say why it is taking a year before gay couples can enjoy full marriage equality.

In France, marriages only took three months to implement after politicians passed the legislation.

October 29, 2013

The Tasmanian state Upper House has refused to revive debate on a bill allowing same-sex marriage at a state level despite getting advice from constitutional lawyers they themselves had acknowledged as experts

The Upper House of the Australian state of Tasmania voted eight to six this afternoon to not revive debate on a bill allowing same-sex marriage that has already been passed in the Lower House.

October 23, 2013

The Australian state of New South Wales will be the first to consider legalizing same-sex marriage at a state level following the Australian Capital Territory’s allowing same-sex couples to wed - and the state of Tasmania will revisit the issue soon after

A bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) will be introduced in the state Upper House as soon as next Thursday and all MPs will be allowed to vote with their consciences on it.

Labor member of the NSW Legislative Council Penny Sharpe will introduce the bill 31 October, with a debate on the bill to follow soon after.

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 18, 2013

A second leading expert on the Australian Constitution has said Tasmania can pass a law to allow same-sex marriage at a state level and believes a High Court challenge against it by the Australian Government is likely to fail

Supporters of the Tasmanian Same-Sex Marriage Bill today released what they say is a ‘game changing’ legal opinion that backs the constitutionality of the bill.

The opinion is from one of Australia's most senior and respected High Court barristers in the area of constitutional law, Bret Walker SC.

In the opinion Walker says there is no legal conflict between the Tasmanian state Same-Sex Marriage Bill and the federal Marriage Act and that a High Court challenge to the state bill is likely to fail.

October 16, 2013

A decision on whether to have another vote on same-sex marriage in the Tasmanian Upper House has been pushed back two weeks after opponents of the reform failed to provide their legal advice in advance of a briefing for Upper House members

A debate to decide whether to take another vote on same-sex marriage in the Australian state of Tasmania has been postponed for two weeks after opponents of the reform failed to provide their legal advice to members of the state Upper House in advance as they had been asked to do.

Former Liberal senator and spokesman for the Save Marriage Coalition instead merely attended a briefing for Upper House MPs where he told them that if they passed the law it would defeated in the High Court of Australia.

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 10, 2013

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Attorney-General Simon Corbell has confirmed that the Australian Government will seek to have its same-sex marriage law declared unconstitutional if it is passed into law

ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell has expressed his disappointment in the Australian Government after it confirmed it would take any attempt to legalize same-sex marriage in the territory to the High Court of Australia.

Australian Attorney-General George Brandis informed Corbell that it would challenge his territory’s law last night, before a meeting of state and federal attorney-generals at which Corbell intended to lay out why he believed the ACT law would survive being challenged in court.

October 10, 2013

An investigation of legal issues around allowing same-sex couples to marry in the state of Tasmania has found that there are no legal barriers to Australian states doing so while a ban on same-sex marriage exists nationally

The Tasmanian Law Reform Institute has advised that there are no legal barriers to stop Australian states from marrying same-sex couples while an Australian federal government ban on same-sex marriage remains in place.

The institute gave the advice in a report it has compiled to address concerns raised by members of the Tasmanian Legislative Council as to whether states even had the power to pass laws on marriage since the passing of Australia’s national Marriage Act in 1961.