At 5.58pm on 7 December 2017 history was made by the Parliament of Australia passing the Marriage Equality Bill. The bill received overwhelming support from almost all parties – the Nationals, Liberals, Greens, the crossbench and Labor, and their vote was cheered on by a packed public gallery.
The change is a simple one. From Saturday, 9 December, marriage will be the 'union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life'. It means that same-sex couples will have the same rights as all other couples.
Relationships Australia strongly believes that marriage equality is critical, and joined the call for Australians to vote ‘yes’ in the recent postal survey. We are pleased to see that yesterday, most elected representatives voted according to their electorate’s wishes.
Marriage equality, quick facts:
- Australia is the 26th country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage
- From Saturday, 9 December anybody wishing to marry will be able to lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage
- The notice of intended marriage starts the one month minimum notice period required before the solemnisation of marriages under the Marriage Act.
- The first day couples can marry is 9 January 2018