Senator Trish Crossin has today tabled the Marriage Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2012 (the Bill) in the Senate that legislates for Marriage Equality.
Senator Crossin has sponsored the Bill, along with three other Government Senators: Senator Louise Pratt from WA, Senator Gavin Marshall from Victoria and Senator Carol Brown from Tasmania.
The Bill makes some very simple changes to the Marriage Act, including:
- Changing the objective of the Marriage Act to be more inclusive stating
“The object of this Act is to amend the Marriage Act 1961 to ensure equal access to marriage for all adult couples irrespective of sex who have a mutual commitment to a shared life.”
- Changing the definition of Marriage to
“The union of two people, to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered in to for life”
- Inserting a new paragraph into section 47 of the Act to make it absolutely clear that the Marriage Act does not impose an obligation on ministers of religion to solemnise the marriage of a same-sex couple.
“Australians do not tolerate discrimination based on race, religion, ethnicity or sexuality. Yet in the Marriage Act we have Commonwealth law about an important social and legal institution that in its very meaning entrenches discrimination,” Senator Crossin said.
“Marriage law is essentially Government recognition of a relationship between two people. It is a public recognition of a private, mutual commitment between two people, bringing with it important social, cultural, psychological and legal benefits to the married couple.
“Changing the definition of Marriage to recognise same-sex couples does not fundamentally change marriage itself – its essence, the commitment of two people to each other, to the exclusion of anyone else, is still there.
“It removes discrimination from Commonwealth law, discrimination that has shown is a significant contributing factor to poor mental and physical health outcomes for those in the LGBTI community.
“Territorians have contacted me over the years seeking support to make marriage equally accessible to couples of all sexualities. The support in favour of marriage equality has been overwhelming, and I am proud to be presenting this Bill today,” Senator Crossin said.