Greens introduce freedom to marry bill in Australia

Posted by Rex Wockner on

"The Greens Party introduced a bill to legalise the freedom to marry in Australia's Parliament on 29 September.

"The group Australian Marriage Equality is calling for a 'conscience' vote on the bill, meaning individual MPs would be free to break from their party's official position.

"'MPs should be free to represent the views of the 60 percent of Australians who support this reform,' said AME National Convener Alex Greenwich. '(The) bill is a simple and straightforward solution to those discriminatory sections of the Marriage Act which ban same-sex partners from officially declaring their love. Surely members of the federal Labor and Liberal parties have more important things to do than stop same-sex partners committing to each other.'

"Prime Minister Julia Gillard opposes the bill and said she will not allow Labor MPs a conscience vote.

"Meanwhile, the state of Tasmania on Sept. 29 extended recognition to marriages of same-sex couples and civil unions from other countries, becoming the first Australian state or territory to do so.

"But marriages will be recognized only as state civil unions because of a national law that explicitly bans recognition of foreign marriages of same-sex couples.

"Three Australian states and the Australian Capital Territory have civil-union laws for same-sex couples -- and those partnerships are recognized by the federal government for purposes of the spousal entitlements associated with marriage."

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