Same-sex marriage legislated

The Parliament of Australia today passed legislation providing marriage equality for opposite sex and same sex couples in Australia.


The right to marry in Australia will no longer be determined by sex or gender. Marriage will now be defined in the Marriage Act 1961 as the ‘union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life’. Same-sex couples now have the same rights under the Marriage Act as opposite sex couples.


These reforms will commence on Saturday 9 December 2017.


As from Saturday, same-sex couples will be able to lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage to commence the one month minimum notice period required before the solemnisation of marriages under the Marriage Act.


Under the new laws, ministers of religion and religious marriage celebrants will be able to act in accordance with their religious beliefs about marriage.


Attorney-General for Australia Senator George Brandis said, “Religious bodies will be able to act in accordance with their doctrines, tenets and beliefs in providing facilities, goods and services in connection with marriage.


“My Department is making necessary arrangements to implement this significant social change recognising the outcome of the postal survey and the legislation. This includes updating marriage forms and certificates and information to assist marrying couples and authorised celebrants.”


The forms and other information will be available following the proclamation of the bill at and .


7 December 2017.