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Content about Recognition of same-sex unions in Australia

March 31, 2015

Qantas, PricewaterhouseCoopers, SBS and Football Federation Australia argue same-sex marriage is 'a sound economic option'

Corporate giants including Qantas, PricewaterhouseCoopers, SBS and Football Federation Australia have signed an open letter to the federal government in support of gay marriage.

In the letter, they argue that same-sex marriage is not just 'the only truly fair option' but 'a sound economic option' – as it would make LGBTI employees happy and therefore more productive and  give Australia a competitive edge in attracting international talent.

March 26, 2015

A planned debate on a bill that would have legalized gay marriage in Australia did not take place after the Liberal Party of Prime Minister Tony Abbott yet again failed to give its MPs a free vote on the issue

The Australian Senate did not debate a bill to legalize same-sex marriage today because the ruling Liberal Party refused to let its members vote with their conscience.

Going into the last election Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that his MPs would be given a free vote on the issue if his party room decided it despite his personal opposition on the issue.

March 19, 2015

Australian lawmakers will debate a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage for the third time in five years next Thursday amid hopes Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott will finally allow his MPs to vote with their consciences on the issue

Liberal Democratic Party Senator David Leyonhjelm today announced his Freedom to Marry Bill will return for debate in the Australian Senate as soon as next Thursday.

In doing so, Senator Leyonhjelm called on Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to allow his MPs and senators a conscience vote on the issue.

Abbott has said in the past that his MPs would get a conscience vote on the issue when his party room decided they should and Leyonhjelm believes there is enough support amongst members of the ruling Liberal-National Coalition for that to occur.

March 18, 2015

Ruling coalition votes against the motion

Australia's national Senate has supported a motion calling on all parties to allow a conscience vote on gay marriage.

The motion, proposed by Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young, passed the upper house where opposition parties have the majority. The ruling Liberal-National coalition voted against.

'[Prime Minister] Tony Abbott should lift the gag on his MPs and let them vote freely on the issue of marriage equality. There's nothing to be afraid of,' she wrote on Twitter.

February 25, 2015

Civil partnership ceremonies were scrapped in 2012

Queensland is making moves to reinstate state-sanctioned civil union ceremonies for gay couples.

The state attorney-general, Yvette D'Ath, said Wednesday(25 February) the new Labor government would make good on an election pledge and re-introduce civil partnership ceremonies after they were scrapped in 2012.

'It’s something that I’m getting briefings on as we speak,' she told Fairfax Radio.

'We have made it clear we will change it back. We’re putting in place (measures) to do that now.'

February 19, 2015

New South Wales politician voted against same-sex marriage in 2013

The opposition leader in New South Wales has u-turned on gay marriage after voting against reform in the Australian state in 2013.

On becoming Labor leader in January, Luke Foley said he would keep 'an open mind' and 'continue to reflect' on the issue, which cynics saw as a non-commital halfway ground ahead of the March elections.

But today, the practising Catholic spoke in favor of overturning a federal ban on gay marriage.

January 20, 2015

The Australian Capital Territory Government has announced that Labor Legislative Assembly member Yvette Berry will be given an LGBTI Equality portfolio – joining the state of Victoria as Australian jurisdictions to have a government Minister for Equality

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Labor lawmaker Yvette Berry has become only the second person in the history of Australian politics to be given a ministerial portfolio that covers LGBTI Equality.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr made the announcement earlier today as part of an expected cabinet reshuffle, handing Berry ministerial responsibility for the areas of Housing, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Community Services, Multicultural Affairs, Women, and Social Inclusion and Equality.

December 18, 2014

Some of Australia’s leading politicians, including Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s sister Christine Forster, have offered to have lunch with donors to a campaign to raise $50,000 for Australian Marriage Equality

Leading Australian political figures are offering to get up close and personal with members of the public as part of a campaign to raise $50,000 for the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in Australia.

The fundraising campaign is being run by the group Australian Marriage Equality and has already raised $33,000 of a goal of $50,000 through crowdfunding website Pozible.

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.’