Same sex marriages set for UK consulates from June 27
UK consulates in Australia will begin accepting sames-sex marriage applications from today, with the date set for first ceremonies to take place as of June 27.
Australian same-sex couples, where one partner is British will now have the opportunity to marry with family and friends around them – without having to leave the country to do so.
Marriage equality advocates have welcomed the news, saying it will increase pressure on the Federal Government to allow a free vote on the issue.
Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Crome, said,
"Same-sex marriages in British consulates will renew the marriage equality debate by highlighting just how far Australia has fallen behind other countries including our closest friends and allies. In particular, it will increase pressure on Tony Abbott to allow the Coalition party room a free vote on the issue, in line with basic Liberal principles.”
Currently same-sex marriages that are performed under foreign laws are not recognised in Australia. However the Senate has spearheaded an inquiry looking into the Greens’ international same-sex marriage bill which seeks to give same-sex couples married overseas, marriage recognition under Australian law.
“Recognising international same-sex marriages will mean that gay Australians who wed overseas won’t have to leave their marriages at the customs gate,” the Greens’ LGBTI spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
Croome urged supporters of marriage equality to make their views known to the Inquiry.
"We'll see a lot of indignation at the fact that the solemn vows couples make in British consulates in Australia count for nothing the moment the couples step outside the consulate and back on to Australian soil", Croome said.
"It is timely that a Senate committee is currently looking at the recognition of overseas same-sex marriages in Australian law and I urge supporters of marriage equality to make their views known to the inquiry."
Consulates in Sydney and Perth will take bookings for same–sex couples to lodge notices of intention to marry from today, other consulates will follow. Lodgement notices will be accepted from June 12 and ceremonies will take place from June 27.