Welcomes Ground-Breaking Marriage Legislation

ACT LGBTIQ Advisory Council Welcomes Ground-Breaking Marriage Legislation

Today, the ACT Government’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) Advisory Council welcomes the historic ACT Marriage Equality Same-Sex Bill. Once passed, the Bill will allow couples of the same legal gender from the ACT community, and from across Australia, to marry in the ACT.

“The Marriage Bill is a crucial step towards ensuring that all couples, regardless of gender, can declare their life-long commitment to one another in front of family and friends” says Council Chair, Heidi Yates. “The ACT has come through on its promise to pursue marriage equity, a groundbreaking achievement in Australian legal history” Ms Yates commented.

“The Council remains disappointed that the Bill was amended at late notice to limit recognition to couples of the same legal gender, rather than all persons who cannot marry under the federal Marriage Act. In the Council’s view, no- one should be discriminated against because of their sexuality, their gender identity or because they are intersex” said Ms Yates earlier today.

The original drafting of the Bill was inclusive of all persons who could not marry under the federal Marriage Act. In response to expert legal opinion, the Government has since amended the Bill to give it the best chance of success in a likely constitutional challenge in the High Court. “The Council will be calling on the Government to fulfil its promise to expand the scope of the legislation, if upheld in the High Court” said Ms Yates, “In the meantime, we look forward to celebrating the introduction of the Bill with the broader community, and await the introduction of key changes to the Births, Deaths and Marriages Act later this year to improve the way the ACT recognises transgender and intersex persons.”

For further information contact the Council Secretariat, Matthew Clissold, within the ACT Community Services Directorate on (02) 6207 7667 or Council Chair, Heidi Yates, via heidimyates@yahoo.com.au
Further information regarding the Council is available here.