Same Sex Marriage

Latest polls say that 62 per cent of Australians support same-sex marriage. I support the community campaign for full equality, including in marriage.

Following a meeting with Australian Marriage Equality representatives, I have committed to investigating NSW legislation to provide for same-sex marriage. This will require expert legal advice on constitutional provisions and the legal basis for State legislation.

The Prime Minister did not agree to my request for a conscience vote on same-sex marriage, and says that the Government will vote as a bloc on this matter. The Federal Opposition Leader claimed to support the removal of discrimination, but continues with discriminatory marriage provisions. Federal Parliament agreed on a motion calling on MPs to gauge their constituents' views on allowing same-sex couples to marry.

In NSW Parliament, I asked the NSW Attorney General about legal advice on options to recognise overseas same-sex marriages in NSW, and possible NSW legislation to provide for same sex marriage, given the lack of progress at Federal level.

According to the Attorney General, Tasmanian legislation only recognises overseas same sex marriages as a "registered relationship". He says that marriage in Australia can only be recognised under the Commonwealth Marriage Act. Both the previous federal Government and then Opposition supported amendments to define marriage as only being between a man and a woman.

I understand that bills to provide state marriage equality are listed for both Tasmania and South Australia, and I will monitor these developments.

Same-sex marriage is allowed in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and some states in the United States of America.

I encourage you to contact your federal MP to express your views.

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