THE ACT government will introduce a bill on Thursday to legalise same-sex marriage in the territory.
Attorney General Corbell says the introduction of The Marriage Equality Bill into the Legislative Assembly was a response to the “broad support across the ACT community for the reform.”
“Like the majority of Australians, a majority of Canberrans support the implementation of a legal framework for same sex marriage,” Mr Corbell says.
“Because of the stalemate on the issue in the Federal Parliament, it now falls to the states and territories to assess their commitment to provide fair and equal recognition to people in committed relationships and to act accordingly.”
Mr Corbell says the bill will “send a clear and unambiguous message that all people are entitled to respect, dignity, the right to participate in society, and to receive the full protection of the law, regardless of sexual orientation.”
The ACT Government’s position is that the Bill is within the power of the ACT Legislative Assembly to make.
“At least 15 countries have now passed laws to recognise same-sex marriages — Canada, Spain, South Africa, Portugal, Mexico, Argentina, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, France, the United Kingdom and New Zealand,” Mr Corbell says.
“The Marriage Equality Bill 2013, is similar to the New South Wales Marriage Equality Bill, and includes elements of existing ACT legislation, as well as provisions from other jurisdictions, to ensure the ACT bill reflects the Territory’s established and comprehensive policies on relationship law.“The Bill, which will be introduced into the Assembly on Thursday, will provide for requirements of eligibility, the process for notification of intention to marry and solemnisation. The Bill will also provide for ending marriages and regulatory requirements.”