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Content about Recognition of same-sex unions in Australia

December 16, 2014

A Melbourne gay couple have married in their city’s United Kingdom consulate, making them the first same-sex couple in the world to be legally married under Scottish law

Scottish citizen Douglas Pretsell has become the first of his countrymen to legally marry another man as Scotland’s marriage equality law comes into effect today.

Pretsell married Australian man Peter Gloster at the British consulate in Melbourne at 11.01am today at the exact moment when Scotland’s equal marriage legislation came into effect.

The couple had already entered into a civil partnership which allowed them to take advantage of the new law today.

November 13, 2014

New South Wales follows Queensland and Tasmania

New South Wales has become the third Australian state to recognize gay couples who have married abroad in places where same-sex unions are legal.

November 4, 2014

Australian Capital Territory's marriage equality law was overturned last year

The Australian government's successful challenge to the Australian Capital Territory's (ACT) gay marriage law cost the state $800,000 (US$697,800) in legal fees.

Solicitor-General Peter Garrisson told a Legislative Assembly hearing yesterday that the ACT paid $500,000 (US$436,130) in legal fees to the federal government after the country's first marriage equality law was overturned in December last year.

Bills for two external lawyers totaled $112,000 (US$97,690) and the cost of work completed by government lawyers was about $200,000 (US$17,445).

October 31, 2014

A 26 year veteran of the fight for LGBTI equality in Australia, Australian Marriage Equality national convener Rodney Croome has been honored as the 2015 Australian of the Year for his home state of Tasmania

Veteran spokesperson for the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group and national convener of Australian Marriage Equality, Rodney Croome has been named the 2015 Australian of the year for his home state of Tasmania.

Croome was honored for his 26 year involvement in the fight for LGBTI equality which has culminated in his role as national spokesperson for the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in Australia.

October 13, 2014

The Tasmanian state conference of Australia’s Liberal Party has voted yet again to keep opposition to same-sex marriage in its official platform despite voices in the party calling for a more inclusive approach

The membership of the Tasmanian Liberal Party State Council voted on Saturday to keep opposition to allowing same-sex couples to marry as part of its official platform, in a move that has been labelled retrograde by supporters of equality for LGBTI people.

The motion voted on at the state party’s annual conference was in support of keeping the current definition of marriage in the federal Marriage Act and was passed ‘on the voices’ without a count of hands.

September 21, 2014

'If we were to go down that path [of a free vote], we [the MPs] are the ones that become vilified,' says Liberal Party MP Craig Laundy who now no longer supports a conscience vote on the issue

Liberal Party MP Craig Laundy, who was one of few MPs who publicly supported a free vote on same-sex marriage last year – even though he did not support same-sex marriage himself for religious reasons, has said he no longer supports MPs having a free vote.

September 17, 2014

Legislation in the self-governing Australian territory of Norfolk Island has been put forward to allow same-sex couples to marry and the bill has been crafted with a view to surviving any constitutional challenge

At 10.30 today, Sydney time, a bill to create legal same-sex marriages was tabled in the parliamentary Assembly of the autonomous Australian territory of Norfolk Island – putting it on a course to become the first part of Australia where same-sex couples will be able to legally marry.

The bill was put forward by Norfolk Island Assembly member Hayden Evans and aims to allow Australian same-sex couples to marry on their home soil rather than having to travel overseas.

September 3, 2014

The CEO of the Australian Football League (AFL) rugby code has stated for the record that his code wants to see all Australian couples to be able to get legally married in response to a letter from a mother with a gay son

The Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Football League (AFL) has put his organization’s support for same-sex couples being allowed to legally marry on the record after he received a letter on the issue from the mother of a gay son.

AFL boss Gillon McLachlan wrote back to Geelong woman Sharyn Faulkner on 14 August to clarify where his organization stood on the issue.

‘Dear Sharyn, I write in response to your letter regarding marriage equality,’ McLachlan wrote.

August 24, 2014

The Queensland state branch of the Australian Labor Party voted today to join the Tasmania state branch in binding its MPs to vote for same-sex marriage regardless of their personal views

Delegates to the Queensland State Australian Labor Party Conference have today voted to bind its federal MPs to vote for the legalization of same-sex marriage regardless of what their personal views on the issue are.

The Queensland branch of the party joins its Tasmanian branch in doing so, while the rest of the party’s state and territory branches still favor allowing MPs a conscience vote on the issue.

August 4, 2014

Australian lawmakers will again vote on a bill to legalize same-sex marriage and unlike last time it’s looking very likely that government MPs will have a conscience vote on the issue

Australian lawmakers will once again vote on legislation that would see same-sex couples be allowed to marry across Australia and reports indicate it is likely that MPs from the ruling Liberal-National Coalition will be allowed to vote with their consciences.

Fairfax newspapers over the weekend published articles in which several unnamed Liberal MPs said they believed the party room would decide in favor of a conscience vote - including one who is opposed to same-sex marriage.

July 15, 2014

An overwhelming number of Australians now want same-sex couples to be allowed to be legally married, the ruling Liberal Party’s own pollster of choice says

More Australians support same-sex marriage than ever before, according to a new poll.

A phone poll of 1,000 Australians chosen at random found that 72% of Australians now support same-sex marriage, while only 21% are still opposed and only 14% say they are ‘strongly opposed.’

Only 7% said they were undecided on the issue.

The poll was particularly significant as it was conducted by the Crosby|Textor polling company which is the same one relied by Australia’s ruling Liberal Party when polling the electorate.

July 11, 2014

Freshly minted Australian micro-party senator David Leyonhjelm says he will put forward a bill to allow same-sex couples to marry after mentioning marriage equality in his inaugural speech

Liberal Democratic Party David Leyonhjelm plans to move quickly to fulfill an election promise to push for same-sex marriage, with reports saying he will move forward with his own bill on the issue.

Leyonhjelm is one of 8 senators from new parties that did not hold seats in the Australian Senate before July this year of who the Australian Government needs 7 to pass legislation if it is opposed by the opposition Labor and Greens parties.

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.

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 3, 2014

Australia’s deputy Opposition leader has called on Liberal and National party MPs in the government to pressure Prime Minister Tony Abbott to allow them a conscience vote and co-sponsor her bill on same-sex marriage

Deputy Australian Labor Party leader and Member for Sydney, Tanya Plibersek, has written to all MPs in the Australian Government to call on them to put pressure on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to allow them a conscience vote on her bill to legalize same-sex marriage.

February 25, 2014

The parliamentary caucus of the opposition Australian Labor Party has backed plans by Sydney Labor MP Tanya Plibersek to introduce a bill to allow same-sex couples to marry

Federal Labor MP for Sydney Tanya Plibersek has announced she has received the backing of her party to move forward with a bill to legalize same-sex marriage and she is now calling for the Australian Government to allow its MPs to vote with their conscience on the issue.

‘Today, the Labor caucus endorsed my proposal to introduce a Bill for marriage equality,’ Plibersek announced earlier today, ‘It’s now up to Tony Abbott to allow his MPs a conscience vote.’

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 2, 2014

Same-sex marriage campaigners have accused SNP politician John Mason of attempting to ‘wreck’ the legislation which is due to be voted on for the final time on Tuesday

Campaigners for same-sex marriage in Scotland are accusing a Scottish National Party (SNP) politician of a last-minute attempt to scupper the bill’s chances of being signed into law next week.

Members of Scottish Parliament are due to vote on the Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill for the final time on Tuesday.

However, religious groups are opposing the legislation and demanding the bill should also protect opponents of gay marriage from discrimination based on their beliefs.

December 31, 2013

Liberal-National Coalition MP Warren Entsch has become the latest high profile Australian Government politician to say he believes his colleagues will be allowed a conscience vote on same-sex marriage in 2014 – adding to the pressure on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to allow one

Liberal-National Coalition MP Warren Entsch has joined former Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull in predicting that there will be a conscience vote on same-sex marriage in the Australian Parliament during 2014.

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 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 9, 2013

The Australian Government and Greens have joined forces to stop an attempt to initiate a referendum on gay marriage in Australia by a senator from the right wing Catholic Democratic Labor Party

Advocates for same-sex marriage in Australia have praised Liberal and National party senators in the Australian Government and senators from the Greens for joining forces to defeat an attempt to begin the process of having a referendum on same-sex marriage in Australia.

Democratic Labour Party senator John Madigan put forward a motion to establish an inquiry into holding a referendum on same-sex marriage earlier today.

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

A bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the Australian state of New South Wales has failed in a narrow vote of 19 to 21

New South Wales (NSW) has backed away from becoming the first Australian state to legalize same-sex marriage with Members of the state Legislative Council (MLCs) voting narrowly to defeat the measure.

MLCs voted 21 to 19 against the measure which had been put forward by a cross parliamentary working group on same-sex marriage which included both Government and Opposition lawmakers.