Australia colonized by Great Britain, laws banning anal sex imported from the UK.
The state of Victoria downgrades the punishment for anal-sex – it becomes punishable by 20 years imprisonment instead of by death.
The first lobby group for gay and lesbian equality established in Australia, the Homosexual Law Reform Society.
The state of South Australia decriminalizes homosexuality, and the age of consent is equalized in that state.
The first Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade is held in Sydney. Police arrest 53 people.
The state of Victoria decriminalizes homosexuality, and the age of consent is equalized in that state.
The state of New South Wales passed legislation prohibiting discrimination based on sexuality.
The Northern Territory decriminalizes homosexuality.
The state of New South Wales decriminalizes homosexuality.
The Australian Capital Territory decriminalizes homosexuality, and the age of consent is equalized in that territory.
The state of Western Australia decriminalizes homosexuality.
The state of Queensland decriminalizes homosexuality.
Gay men and lesbians no longer banned from serving in the military.
The federal Australian Government passes the Human Rights (Sexual Conduct) Act. This legislation overrides all state and territory legislation relating to the sexual conduct of consenting adults.
The state of Tasmania decriminalizes homosexuality.
The Australian Capital Territory passes legislation that enables same-sex couples to adopt children.
The federal Australian Government amends the Marriage Act to explicitly exclude same-sex couples from marriage, defining marriage as the ‘union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life’.
The federal Australian Government passes legislation that extends anti-discrimination protection to same-sex couples.
The state of New South Wales passes legislation that enables same-sex couples to adopt children.
The state of Tasmania passes legislation that enables same-sex couples to adopt children.
The Australian Capital Territory passes same-sex marriage legislation. This is ruled invalid by the High Court.
The federal Australian Government commits to a national plebiscite on same-sex marriage, however the legislation required to enable this was not passed by parliament.
The states of Victoria, Queensland, and South Australia all pass legislation that enables same-sex couples to adopt children.
The federal Australian Government decided to proceed with a voluntary postal survey on same-sex marriage. The rationale given is that this fulfils the government’s commitment not to facilitate the introduction of same-sex marriage legislation until the Australian people have had their say.
12 September 2017
Postal ballot forms distributed to registered voters. The question being asked is: ‘Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?’ Voters are able to answer Yes or No. It is not compulsory to return the ballot.
7 November 2017
Final deadline for postal ballot forms to be returned.
15 November 2017
The results of the ballot will be announced. The results will be decided by a simple majority. The results of the vote are not binding on the government, but if the result is a majority for Yes, then it’s expected that legislation could be passed by parliament before the end of 2017. If the result is a majority for No, then there will not be a vote by parliament.