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Government strengthens Marriage Act.



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ATTORNEY-GENERAL THE HON PHILIP RUDDOCK MP

NEWS RELEASE

13 August 2004 151/2004

GOVERNMENT STRENGTHENS MARRIAGE ACT

The importance of the institution of marriage has been highlighted with the passage of legislation through the Parliament to ensure same-sex relationships cannot be equated with marriage the Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said today.

“The Government believes marriage is a central and fundamental institution in our society and provides the best environment for the raising of children,” Mr Ruddock said.

Until now, the Commonwealth Marriage Act 1961 contained no actual definition of marriage.

“The Government’s position is that marriage is the union of a man and a woman - to the exclusion of all others - voluntarily entered into for life,” Mr Ruddock said.

“The Parliament has now agreed and these words will appear in the formal definition of marriage in the Marriage Act.

“The Government has also amended the Marriage Act to make it absolutely clear that Australia will not recognise same-sex marriages entered into under the laws of any other country,” Mr Ruddock said.

“By these actions the Government is making clear its commitment to the institution of marriage,” Mr Ruddock said.

Media Contact: Steve Ingram 0419 278 715

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 • Telephone (02) 6277 7300 • Fax (02) 6273 4102 www.law.gov.au/ag