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Wednesday, 9 February 2005
Page: 82

Senator COONAN (Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts) (3:11 PM) —On 12 August last year, during the committee stage of the Marriage Amendment Bill 2004—and I refer to page 26571 of Hansard—Senator Nettle asked, in relation to people who are currently married and subsequently undergo gender reassignment surgery, whether their relationship and marriage will still be recognised under the law. I said I would refer the question to the Attorney-General, and I have the answer today. The Attorney-General has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question. It is not appropriate for the Attorney-General to give legal advice. However, he considers that the decision of the full Family Court in re Kevin establishes that the validity of a marriage is determined at the time it is solemnised and that the new definition in the Marriage Act 1961 does not mean that a marriage will be annulled or otherwise made invalid because one of the parties to it undergoes gender reassignment surgery.