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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.

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.

October 1, 2014

Senator David Leyonhjelm says the timing is not right now but he still aims to introduce the bill in the coming weeks or months

Australian Senator David Leyonhjelm has said he will postpone his gay marriage bill but he is still committed to introducing the legislation 'in a matter of weeks or months.'

The Liberal Democrat told the Australian newspaper that he will temporarily delay his Freedom to Marry bill, which was due this week, because of advice from the major parties.

He said, ‘Both sides of politics have suggested to me that timing this week is not optimum at the ­moment and if I want to win, rather than just do something symbolic, I need to wait.

September 25, 2014

A bill to recognize the hundreds of Australian gay couples who wed abroad was introduced in March

The Australian Senate has recommended parliament does not pass a bill to recognize gay couples who married in places where same-sex unions are legal.

The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee released a report on the bill today.

Some submitters expressed concern that the bill was 'a surreptitious attempt to introduce marriage equality.'

The Law Council of Australia was concerned that the bill would create a discriminatory situation where only couples with the financial resources to travel overseas would have access to gay marriage.

September 25, 2014

A bill to recognize the hundreds of Australian gay couples who wed abroad was introduced in March

The Australian Senate has recommended parliament does not pass a bill to recognize gay couples who married in places where same-sex unions are legal.

The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee released a report on the bill today.

Some submitters expressed concern that the bill was 'a surreptitious attempt to introduce marriage equality.'

The Law Council of Australia was concerned that the bill would create a discriminatory situation where only couples with the financial resources to travel overseas would have access to gay marriage.

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 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 27, 2014

Australia’s Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Union will be investigated by the Human Rights Commission over allegations that its leaders systematically exclude LGBTI people from leadership positions

Australia’s biggest union will be investigated over allegations of systematic discrimination against its gay and lesbian members attaining leadership positions after allegations were made at a Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption.

A witness at the Royal Commission recently accused the leadership of the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Union (SDA) of refusing to allow openly gay or lesbian people to become union shop stewards and openly gay Australian Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson has agreed to open an investigation into the union.

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 13, 2014

Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe, who announced he is gay on TV interview, is enjoying a wealth of support after his long-awaited coming out 

Australian Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe has come out of the closet and admitted he is gay, and is now enjoying support from fans, fellow athletes and gay celebrities.

Thorpe, who had consistently denied he is gay, came out in an interview on Australian TV with British broadcaster Micahel Parkisnon (13 July).

‘To everyone who has sent a message of support I sincerely thank you!’ tweeted the five times Olympic gold medallist.

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.

June 27, 2014

The first same-sex couple to be legally married on Australian soil wed today at the British consulate in Sydney but their marriage won’t be recognized by the Australian Government anytime soon

From today British consulates around Australia are allowed to marry same-sex couples where at least one of the parties is a UK citizen.

What is believed to be the first such marriage in Australia took place today around 3pm at the British consulate near Sydney’s Circular Quay and involved a Scottish Australian couple.

Peter Fraser and Gordon Stevenson married wearing matching kilts in the Fraser clan tartan after 19 years together.

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 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 7, 2014

Mike Baird, the new Liberal premier of the Australian state of New South Wales, has reiterated his predecessor’s pledge to allow a conscience vote on same-sex marriage for his MPs if the issue comes before the parliament

The new Liberal premier of the Australian state of New South Wales told the state parliament earlier today that he would allow his MPs to vote with their consciences if a bill to legalize state-based same-sex marriages were to come before the parliament.

Premier Mike Baird made the announcement in response to a question from openly gay independent MP for Sydney Alex Greenwich who wanted to know if Baird would make the same commitment on the issue that his predecessor Liberal premier Barry O’Farrell had.

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?’

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 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 14, 2014

Australian Marriage Equality (AME) have sent roses to 50 federal MP for Valentines Day – letting them know they’re going to be targeted to change their votes on same-sex marriage

Australian Marriage Equality (AME) today revealed that it will target 50 federal MPs with its new nationwide ‘We’re Waiting’ campaign aimed at getting law makers to act on same-sex marriage

Only 25 more MPs are needed to support reform for legislation to pass the Parliament but the campaign wants to be on the safe side so is targeting 50.

The 50 MPs are mostly Liberal members of Australia’s Liberal-National Coalition government but also include some key Nationals and members of the opposition Australian Labor Party.

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.