Australia Set To Pass First Same-Sex Marriage Law Next Week

Good news for gays Down Under!

Same-sex couples will likely be able to get married in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) very soon. The ACT Government announced this week that it will pass a bill next Tuesday allowing same-sex marriage at a territory level. (That’s equivalent to the state level in the U.S.)

The Australian Government has threatened to take the territory to the High Court of Australia if the law is passed. They seek to have same-sex marriage declared unconstitutional. But the ACT Government is pressing on anyway.

Marriage equality advocates in Australia have praised the ACT Government for standing firm.

“The ACT is just days away from making history and embracing a reform that has become an aspiration for all Australians that value fairness and equality,” Australian Marriage Equality deputy director and ACT resident Ivan Hinton said in a press release. “We know thousands of same-sex couples from across Australia have indicated their interest in marrying in the ACT and these weddings will begin soon after the bill passes, regardless of any Federal Government intervention.”

Australian Marriage Equality has established an online wedding registry for same-sex couples seeking to marry in the ACT. They hope to have thousands of couples marry before a High Court challenge can be heard.

Sounds like next Tuesday will be an awfully g’day, mates!

Photo Credit: Australian Marriage Equality.

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  • Stefano

    There is no comments here! Why? Because there is no Christians or bigots to hate ! That’s so sad. We want blood !!! LOL

  • MikeE

    @Stefano: ummm, let me try… urrr… gays can’t marry… umm… because… ur…. because… I don’t like it! yeah, that’s it! ummm. ooga booga… scary god crap… end of the world rant… umm… am I forgetting anything?

  • Stefano

    Thank you MikeE ! I feel better now !

  • aerogens

    Congrats to all you Australians! I hope you succeed!

  • Matthew

    Don’t get too excited yet, it is not going to happen. Marriage is governed at the Federal level in Australia, also the Federal Government can veto any law passed by the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly, which it has done several times when the ACT Legislative Assembly passed bills giving greater recognition to same-sex relationships that the Federal Government did not like. The newly elected Liberal-National Coalition Government is not gay marriage friendly, even though the Prime Minister’s sister is gay.

    In fact both sides of Australian politics have been anti-gay marriage. The Australian Labor Party led the Federal government between December 2007 and September 2013, and vetoed attempts by the ACT Legislative to give greater recognition to same-sex relationships. Prior to losing office in 2007 the Liberal-National Coalition government vetoed several attempts to give greater recognition to same sex relationships in the Australian Capital Territory, and now that it has been elected to government again, it is unlikely to amend the Marriage Act 1961 to permit recognition of same-sex marriage

  • redspyder

    “The ACT Government announced this week that it will pass a bill next Tuesday allowing same-sex marriage at a territory level. (That’s equivalent to the state level in the U.S.)”
    *eyeroll* Uh – no. There are 6 states in Australia – a Territory doesn’t have the right to convene their own government or pass laws as any of those 6 states do. Under the Constitution, the Australian Government makes the laws for the territories. The Australian government gave the ACT, Northern territory & Norfolk Island the right of self-government so that they can be like the states – however, they also have the right to revoke or alter those powers at will.

  • moyl0067

    This won’t happen, as unfortunate as that is. As @Matthew said – marriage in Australia is governed at a Federal level, so they can veto anything passed by the ACT legislative assembly, and any state’s for that matter. There’ll most likely be a High Court challenge and the bill will be overruled. And considering that the Liberal Party (our conservatives) are in leadership this amendment to the marriage act will be defeated the second it gets mentioned. Both of the main parties in Australia have vetoed recent attempts to amend the marriage act and despite wishful thinking our government is still anti-gay marriage.

    Rather difficult to get excited about gay marriage here in Australia anytime soon.

  • Geoff B

    @moyl0067: I hope you’re wrong, but since you’re actually there, I have to defer to what you say. I live in Illinois, one of the most liberal states in America and we can’t seem to get it done here either. Kind of odd since Minnesota, the state that inflicted far-right Christian shrew Michele Bachman onto the world stage has marriage equality. Wishing you all the best anyway. Australia is a beautifulpart of the world and equality would make it more so.

  • Camsean01

    Don’t get to excited. The ACT has about 300,000 people living there and they did this once before and it was reversed by the federal government.

    Although federal laws have been changed to make it harder for the Commonwealth (federal government) to overturn state law, the Australian constitution grants all powers regarding marriage to the the Commonwealth.

    We shall see.

  • litper

    Australia is a nasty homophobic place. Majority of Australians has voted for filthy anti-gay bigot who is “threatened by homosexuality”. The whole country soon will turn into Russia!

  • Stefano

    I’m so glad to live in Rigaud (Quebec). The province of Quebec is the BETTER place in the WORLD to live as a gay man.

  • moyl0067

    @Geoff B: I hope I am too, but it’s happened so many times before. We’ve seen the bills announced – the lead up to the day – and the defeat over and over again. There’s a general consensus that it will happen eventually (because it’s inevitable), but I’m not expecting it to be next week in the ACT, though I could be wrong, who knows? It just seems incredibly unlikely given the several recent attempts at both the Federal and State level.

    So we’re hopeful, even with a theocratic, bigoted asshole as Prime Minister. Just gotta wait a bit longer.

  • Daniel-Reader

    You can always start a campaign demanding that people experiencing human rights violations get to vote on the punishment for politicians violating human rights. It would change the entire discussion about politicians and human rights violations.

  • Johnny

    Today it passed. YAY.
    But as it is a Territory not a state, the Federal Goverment of Australia can challenge this in the HIGH COURT.

  • Johnny

    The Marriage act is in our constitution and was changed by the PM John Howard a few years back to represent Marriage is between a Man and a Woman, deliberate YES.

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