There has been quite a bit of chatter since the overwhelming ‘YES’ vote happened in Australia last week. Whilst many celebrants and (same-sex couples!) are extremely keen to move forward with marriage plans, until the legislation has been approved in Parliament, we have no idea when same-sex marriages can occur, or the process one needs to complete to make that happen. Here is the latest information available on the Attorney General’s website:
The Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017 (‘Dean Smith Bill’) was introduced into the Senate on 15 November 2017. The requirements set out in the Marriage Act 1961 remain in place until such time as an Act of Parliament changes them. As such, celebrants are currently not able to accept a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) from same-sex couples.
The date from which same-sex weddings could occur in Australia will depend on the date the Australian law is changed to allow same-sex marriage.
The final form of amendments to the Marriage Act 1961 is a matter for the Parliament. The department is unable to provide advice on the likely form of any legislative amendments, including amendments in relation to religious freedoms and protections.
The department will communicate advice to celebrants and the public about changes to the Marriage Act 1961as soon as possible after the passage of any amendments.
Some state and territory governments allow people to register their same-sex relationship. You can find out more information from state and territory registries of births, deaths and marriages.