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Content about Recognition of same-sex unions in Australia

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.

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.

November 5, 2013

The editors of the Sydney Morning Herald have called on Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to allow his MPs to vote with their consciences on same-sex marriage following a senior Government minister saying he believes his party room should revisit the issue

Australia’s most read left leaning newspaper has called on Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to allow his MPs to vote with their personal views on same-sex marriage, rather than as a block, just days after Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he wanted his party room to revisit the issue.

November 4, 2013

Australia’s Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said he believes Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s party room will allow a conscience vote on whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry

Malcolm Turnbull - Australia’s Communication Minister and leader of the Liberal Party while in Opposition from 2008 to 2009 - has said he believes his party room will allow a conscience vote on same-sex marriage.

However he told Network Ten TV that he does not know whether there are the numbers in the parliament for a bill to pass.

However the MP for what is considered Australia’s gayest electorate said he did not know whether there were enough supporters in the Australian Parliament for a bill to pass.

October 31, 2013

The New South Wales Upper House held its first debate on a bill to legalize same-sex marriage today but did not vote on the bill as further debate was postponed for two weeks time

The state that might become the second Australian jurisdiction to allow same-sex marriage did not vote on a bill to achieve that today, postponing further debate until 14 November.

Openly lesbian Labor Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) Penny Sharpe introduced her bill in the parliament around 10am today and was the first to speak to it.

‘It is with great pride that I introduce the NSW Same Sex Marriage Bill 2013 on behalf of the NSW Cross Party Group for Marriage Equality,’ Sharpe told the Legislative Council.

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 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

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 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.