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Marriage (Relationships Equality) Amendment Bill 2008

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Marriage (Relationships Equality) Amendment Bill 2008

 

Explanatory Memorandum

 

 

 

GENERAL OUTLINE

 

The Marriage (Relationships Equality) Amendment Bill 2008 will remove from the Marriage Act 1961 discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and to permit marriage regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

 

The bill reverses the Marriage Amendment Act 2004 which discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity by preventing marriage of same-sex couples, and excluding recognition of same-sex marriages entered into under the laws of another country.

 

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Schedule 1—Amendment of the Marriage Act 1961

1 Subsection 5(1)

 

Item 1 amends the definition of 'marriage' in the Marriage Act 1961 to:

" marriage means the union of two persons, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, voluntarily entered into for life."

 

The use of the discriminatory gender specific term of 'man and woman' is removed.

 

2 Subsection 45(2)

Item 2 amends the words spoken by the parties during the marriage in the presence of an authorised celebrant replacing the discriminatory terms 'wife (or husband)' with the non-discriminatory phrase "…to be my lawfully wedded spouse."

 

3 Subsection 46(1)

Item 3 amends the words spoken by the authorised celebrant to the parties replacing the discriminatory term 'man and a woman' with the non-discriminatory phrase “Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.”

 

 

4 Subsection 72(2)

Item 4 amends the words spoken by the parties to the marriage in the presence of the chaplain and the witnesses removing the discriminatory terms 'wife ( or husband)' and changing it to the non-discriminatory phrase “to be my lawful wedded spouse”.

 

5 Section 88EA

Item 5 repeals Section 88EA that discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity by not recognising marriages between same sex couples solemnised in a foreign country.

 

6 Part III of the Schedule (table item 1)

Item 6 alters the Schedule that deals with 'Persons whose consent is required to the marriage of a minor'. Item 1 of the schedules table, is amended changing the discriminatory term "husband and wife' to 'two people'.