Is Gay Marriage Legal in Australia

Yes, gay marriage is legal in Australia. Same-sex marriage became legal on the 9th of December 2017. Since that date, couples of the same gender have been able to get married in Australia and same-sex couples who married overseas have had their marriages recognised under Australian law.

The legislation that legalised same-sex marriage is called the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017. Because of this act, marriage is no longer defined as specifically between a man and a woman. The new definition of marriage is, “the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.”

The legalisation of same-sex marriage in Australia came after a nationwide voluntary postal survey held from September to November 2017. This survey asked the question, “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”

The majority of respondents were in favour of the change: 61.6% voted “Yes” and 38.4% voted “No.” The postal survey was not compulsory and the government was not obliged to act according to the result. The results of the postal survey were released on the 15th November 2017. Prior to the federal legislation to legalise same-sex marriage, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) introduced a marriage equality bill in 2013.

The bill was passed, and same-sex marriages were briefly permitted in December 2013 until the High Court of Australia determined that this act was invalid because the ACT’s new definition of marriage was in conflict with the federal definition of marriage at the time.

The Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 changed the federal definition. In the first year after the legalisation of same-sex marriage, nearly 5,500 same-sex marriages were performed in Australia.