Is Gay Marriage Legal in Australia

Is Gay Marriage Legal in Australia?

Gay marriage is legal in Australia and has been legal since 9 December 2017.

Since that date, couples of the same gender can get married in Australia and same-sex couples who married overseas can have their marriages recognised under Australian law.

This legalisation occurred through the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 that altered the definition of marriage to be “the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.”

Previously, marriage was defined as specifically between a man and a woman.

The legalisation of same-sex marriage was long-awaited in Australia.

It came after a nationwide voluntary postal survey from September to November 2017 that asked citizens of Australia to respond to the question of whether the law should be changed to allow for gay marriage.

The postal survey was not compulsory and the government was not obliged to act according to the result.

However, when the results were realised on 15th November 2017 to show that the majority of respondents voted in favor of the change, with 61.6% voting “Yes,” the government decided to follow the views of the people. Shortly after, the Bill was passed through parliament, legalising gay marriage.

Before this, Australian history only showed one attempt to legalise gay marriage, and that was in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) in 2013, where a marriage equality bill was passed.

Same-sex marriages were briefly allowed in December 2013 until the High Court of Australia determined that this act was invalid because the ACT’s new definition of marriage conflicted with the federal definition of marriage at the time.

The Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 was the first to change the federal definition of marriage.

After the first year of legalisation, nearly 5,500 same-sex marriages were performed in Australia.


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