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Same-sex marriage - current status

There have been attempts to legalise same-sex marriage in NSW and the ACT.  Here is an update of what has been happening:


In the last couple of years there has been a number of attempts to legalise same-sex marriage by introducing legislation into the NSW parliament.  The latest attempt is the Same-Sex Marriage Bill 2013 and it also has been unsuccessful.  In the Legislative Council it was voted down by 21 votes to 19 votes on Thursday 14 November 2013.


The ACT passed its Marriage Equality Bill 2013 at the end of October 2013. See Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013 (ACT).  The Commonwealth Government is challenging the validity of this legislation in the High Court.

The Commonwealth Attorney-General will argue that the power to legislate a single ‘rule for Australian society as to what constitutes a valid marriage’ lies with the Commonwealth Government and that this new Act made by the ACT conflicts with the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) and the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth).

The High Court will hear both sides in early December, just before any marriages take place.

Read more about this issue on our research guide Family: HSC Legal Studies - Same-sex marriage