ACT to lead on marriage equality and rights for transgender people
ACT chief minister Katy Gallagher has announced the Government’s legislative program for the Spring Session, high on the list are the Marriage Equality Bill 2013 and Births, Deaths and Marriages (Transgender) Amendment Bill 2013.
Gallagher said she is proud the ACT is once again leading the way,suggesting marriage equality is only a matter of time.
“This is a reform that a growing proportion of Australians want made. It is a matter of time. We would prefer to see the federal parliament legislate for a nationally consistent scheme but in the absence of this, we will act for the people of the ACT,” said Gallagher.
“The Marriage Equality Bill 2013 will enable couples who are not able to marry under the Commonwealth Marriage Act 1961 to enter into marriage in the ACT. It will provide for solemnisation, eligibility, dissolution and annulment, regulatory requirements and notice of intention in relation to same sex marriages.
Gallagher said the ACT government is determined to remove discrimination against same-sex couples and their families.
"With this legislation we will state loud and clear that all people have equal rights in our society and are treated equally by our laws.”
Australian Marriage Equality deputy national director Ivan Hinton welcomed the introduction of the Marraige Equality Bill 2013.
"As a long-time Canberra citizen I am proud that my community is moving forward towards full equality for same-sex couples and their families."
"The ACT has embraced the opportunity of showing the rest of the country what it means to achieve a truly inclusive community."
Hinton added: "Census data released this year shows Canberra as having the highest proportion of same-sex couples in the country which only reinforces the responsibility of the ACT Government to legislate for this significant part of our community."
Gallagher also plans to introduce introduce the Births, Deaths and Marriages (Transgender) Amendment Bill 2013, during the spring sitting which will give effect to the government’s response to the Law Reform Advisory Council’s ‘Beyond the Binary’ report.
“The bill will create full recognition and equality before the law for transgender Canberrans, and provide the right to privacy and reputation.
“The government is equally determined to make sure the cultural rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are covered by our laws and respected in our community.”