Same sex marriage websties
Key issue The right to marry is the one significant difference between the legal treatment of same-sex and heterosexual relationships in Australia.
Although same-sex marriage remains controversial, there has been a shift in community and political opinion and the issue is likely to be on the new Parliament’s agenda.
In December 2011, the Labor Party’s platform was amended to support same-sex marriage, but to allow Labor MPs to have a conscience vote on the issue.
Kevin Rudd reversed his opposition to gay marriage in May 2013, shortly before regaining the Labor leadership.
Same-sex marriage has been on the political agenda in Australia for several years, as part of the broader debate about the legal recognition of same-sex relationships.
The expansion of legal rights and protections afforded to same-sex couples in Australia is well developed at both federal and state level.
Twomey argues that the answer to this question is unclear and unknowable until the High Court decides.
The Bills, if enacted, would also have removed the prohibition on the recognition of marriage between same-sex couples solemnised in a foreign country.One of them cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California, the 12th state to recognise same-sex marriage, and the other struck down the Congress’ Defense of Marriage Act, which provided that in all federal rules and rulings, the word ‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.According to civil rights lawyer, Father Frank Brennan these decisions will have an impact beyond the United States.It might confer on the parties to a same-sex marriage the status of ‘married’ for the purposes of a specific state, but it is most unlikely that the parties would be regarded as legally ‘married’ for the purposes of Commonwealth law, or under the law of any other state.It would therefore not attract any legal benefits or status accorded to a married couple.