About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Australian Capital Territory Becomes First Territory in the Country to Legalize Gay Marriage

by Kathy Jones on October 22, 2013 at 9:08 PM
Font : A-A+

 Australian Capital Territory Becomes First Territory in the Country to Legalize Gay Marriage

Australian Capital Territory became the first region in the country to allow gay marriage and said that it will not stop same-sex marriages from taking place despite a legal challenge from the federal government.

Same-sex unions are available in a majority of Australian states but because marriage comes under federal legislation these couples are not formally recognised as married by the government.


The new law passed by the Australian Capital Territory's 17-member Legislative Assembly in Canberra means the first weddings could take place by the end of the year, Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said.

"I am sorry that the Commonwealth threat hangs over this law, but couples who marry will do so with their eyes open to the action that the Commonwealth is taking," Gallagher said in introducing the bill.

"We understand this creates some uncertainty ahead, but that should not deter us; it does not rattle us and it doesn't change our path."

Australia has six states and two mainland territories.

The Marriage Equality Act means that gay couples from outside the small Australian Capital Territory, home to the city of Canberra and the national parliament, could travel there to be wed by an authorised celebrant.

Gallagher said the national Attorney-General George Brandis had urged her not to go ahead with the legislation as it was inconsistent with federal laws that do not permit same-sex weddings.

Brandis has vowed to challenge the move in the High Court, with the outcome potentially affecting those who used the law to wed.

Gallagher said activists had fought for the right for too long to be put off by another legal hurdle, adding that the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) was confident its law was strong.

"We are simply legislating to improve outdated, inhumane laws," she said.

Gallagher acknowledged opposition to the change, particularly from those of strong religious faith, but said the bill did not in her view challenge, diminish or undermine the religion or faith of any individual.

"If we are to be judged by a higher being on this law then let it be so," she said.

ACT opposition leader Jeremy Hanson opposed the bill which was passed with the support of Greens member Shane Rattenbury.

"We do not see the ACT Assembly as a vehicle to drive national agendas on social agendas," he said.

"We are Australia's smallest parliament in a small jurisdiction and we do not think that a majority of one person in the ACT should change the definition of marriage for a country of over 23 million people."

In April New Zealand became the first Asia-Pacific country to legalise gay marriage.

Source: AFP

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Printed Temperature Sensors help with Continuous Temperature Monitoring
Health Benefits of Giloy
Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2021 - It's time to RISE
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
How to Save your marriage Divorce: Pros and Cons 

Recommended Reading
Religious Gay Marriages Favored by Most Norwegian Bishops
The Church of Norway said that most of Norway's 12 bishops favor religious same-sex marriage but ......
Moldova to Abandon Plans to Ban ‘Gay Propaganda’ for Minors
With one eye on gaining entry into the European Union, the Moldavian government revealed that it ......
Montenegro to Host Another Gay Pride Parade in October Despite Violent Attacks
The Organizers of Gay Pride parade revealed that they will be launching another march in late ......
Church Exception on Gay Rights Contemplated in Brazil
The congressional commission on human rights and minorities in Brazil has approved a text that ......
Divorce: Pros and Cons
Divorce can be traumatic for children and create a sense of insecurity amongst them. Couples should ...
How to Save your marriage
You can save your marriage - even when your partner insists on a divorce....

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use