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Monday, 20 August 2018
Page: 7665

Marriage

Dear Chair

Thank you for your letter of 18 June 2018 regarding petition number EN0522, which requests that the definition of marriage in the Marriage Act 1961(Cth) be amended to be the 'union of a man and a woman entered into for life.'

The Australian Government appreciates that many Australians have strong personal views about marriage. That is why the Government took a promise to the 2016 election that every Australian would have the opportunity to have their say on the issue of whether the law should be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry.

The results of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey showed that Australians are overwhelmingly in favour of marriage equality. Of the 79.5% of eligible voters who participated in the survey,.61.6% indicated their support for amending the law to provide for marriage equality.

On 7 December 2017, the Australian Parliament passed the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 (Cth). The Act amended the definition of marriage to be the 'union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.' The right to marry in Australia is no longer determined by sex or gender.

Thank you for bringing this petition to my attention. I appreciate the important work of the Standing Committee on Petitions in putting community concerns before Parliament, and I look forward to engaging with the Committee again in the future.

Yours sincerely

from the Attorney-General, Mr Porter