Inquiry into Greens' overseas marriage bill begins
A Senate inquiry has been launched into the Greens' bill to recognise same-sex marriages entered into overseas.
The inquiry will examine the impact of not recognising those marriages in Australia, and also the legal, social and economic effects passing marriage equality laws has had in other countries.
Greens’ LGBTI spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said Australians who married overseas shouldn't have to "leave their marriages at the customs gate."
“Other countries, including New Zealand, are reaping the social and financial rewards that come with equal marriage and it’s time Australia caught up," Hanson-Young said.
“With more and more countries passing marriage equality laws, Australia is becoming increasingly isolated in the international community."
Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome welcomed the inquiry, saying it should "allay fears about the consequences of allowing same-sex marriages."
"We will be encouraging couples legally married overseas to tell their personal stories about the hurt and harm caused by Australia's failure to recognise their solemn vows of lifelong commitment," Croome said.
"We will also be encouraging researchers and decision-makers from countries with marriage equality to detail the positive impacts the reform has had, and to confirm that none of the dire prediction of marriage equality opponents have come to pass."
Hanson-Young said while Australia was moving closer to reform, supporters "have to keep the pressure up."
“It’s only by working together, across party lines and across the community, that we will ever see gay and lesbian relationships recognised as equal in Australia,” she said.