Australian Same-Sex Marriage Vote

Australia says ‘Yes’ to Same-Sex Marriage

Following the outrage of a mere postal vote advising a fundamental issue of equality, the “Yes” campaign has succeeded with an overwhelming majority of Australian citizens voting for same-sex marriage. In total, 61.6% of the Australian electorate voted in favour of the legalisation of same-sex marriage. Some of the most astonishing figures to look at are the breakdown of Yes/No votes by electorate. To name a few:

Melbourne, Victoria

Sydney, New South Wales

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Brisbane, Queensland

Perth, Western Australia

Adelaide, South Australia

83.7% Yes, 82.8% participation

83.7% Yes, 80.5% participation

74.1% Yes, 83.2% participation

79.5% Yes, 81.6% participation

71.5% Yes, 80.5% participation

70.1% Yes, 81.4% participation

Moreover, the voter participation was impressive in itself, with just one electoral division with less than 60% of the population participating.

Following the Vote

After numerous attempts to pass the same-sex marriage bill, the results of the vote were upheld by the government. As of Monday 9th January 2018, same-sex marriages will be able to take place in Australia. In fact, the first same-sex marriages have already been able to take place under special dispensation. The law passed on Saturday 9th December 2017 recognises all same-sex marriages that have taken place overseas.

The upshot of this historic legislation bodes well for an increasingly progressive and tolerant Australian society, that does not marginalise the members or the hardships of the LGBTQ+ community. It marks the end of a lengthy and arduous process for its campaigners and advocates, and the beginning of marriage equality in Australia for its inhabitants, visitors and immigrants.

 

Legislation & Policy

MSL Solicitors is pleased to confirm that the Marriage Act 1961, which regulates marriage law in Australia, was amended on the 4th of December 2017. This new landmark, albeit long overdue, passed through the senate unanimously. The new legislation and key amendments can be found below:

Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 No. 129, 2017

The definition of spouse has been amended, such that:

Migration Act 1958

35  Subsection 5F(1)

After “another person”, insert “(whether of the same sex or a different sex)”.

36  Paragraph 5F(2)(b)

Omit “as husband and wife”, substitute “as a married couple”.

Same-sex couples can finally access the Subclass 300 (Prospective-Marriage Visa).

Further Reading

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/07/same-sex-marriage-postal-survey-is-lawful-high-court-finds

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/datablog/ng-interactive/2017/nov/15/same-sex-marriage-survey-how-australia-voted-electorate-by-electorate

https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2017A00129


This article demonstrates some of the complexities that surround Australian law and policy, and highlights some benefits of having representation from a MARA Agent or immigration Lawyer who can help you navigate your way through these obstacles and keep you updated about important changes.

 

Please contact us +44 (0)2078326400, or email enquiries@mslsolicitors.com if you are interested in finding out more about our legal services.

 

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