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Greens bill to remove marriage discrimination

Media Release
Sarah Hanson-Young 18 Apr 2013

The Greens have congratulated New Zealand on taking the momentous step of achieving marriage equality and have today announced legislation designed to recognise same-sex marriages from overseas as equal and legal here in Australia.

“Equality is now less than three hours away, but the sad thing is that gay and lesbian Australians will have to leave their marriage at the customs gate”, the Greens LGBTI spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

“That is why I’m announcing today that I’ll be introducing a bill to the Senate that would remove the blanket ban on international same-sex marriages being recognised here in Australia.

“Currently when members of our LGBTI community wed overseas their marriages aren’t legally recognised when they return home, unlike straight couples who do the same.

“My bill will mean that that LGBTI Australians who get married overseas will have a chance to claim the same legal recognition of their relationships as anyone else when they return home.

“This shouldn’t be a controversial idea and, as more and more countries recognise that marriage equality has found its time, Australia is becoming increasingly isolated in the international community.

“I congratulate our neighbours across the Tasman on achieving this historic political step.

“New Zealand has beaten us to the punch and now we will see millions of wedding industry dollars lost as gay and lesbian Australians are forced to travel abroad to experience equality.

“The majority of Australians want to see this discrimination taken out of the law and I urge Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott to support equality in Australia by supporting this bill.” 

Note: The new bill is called the Marriage Act Amendment (Recognition of Foreign Marriages for Same-Sex Couples) Bill 2013 and it removes s88EA from the Marriage Act in its entirety. This bill is separate from the Greens’ existing Marriage Equality bills in the Senate and House of Representatives.


Media Contact: Noah Schultz-Byard 0427 604 760


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