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Marriage equality overdue


Cite as: August 2015 89 (8) LIJ, p.10

Marriage equality before the law is overdue in Australia, say the LIV and the Victorian Bar.

Support for marriage equality by Victoria’s two major legal stakeholders followed the June decision in the US Supreme Court which sanctioned marriage between two people regardless of gender, and also the historic referendum in Ireland in May which saw same-sex marriage voted in.

LIV president Katie Miller welcomed the international developments and said Australia lags behind other countries, and public opinion, on marriage equality.

“It is about time the law caught up and removed the last legal barrier to recognition of marriage equality,” Ms Miller said.

“We call on the federal parliament to urgently support an amendment to the definition of marriage under the Marriage Act to provide for marriage between two persons.”

The Victorian Bar said marriage equality was supported by core principles of equality before the law.

“All people are entitled to equality and protection under the law free from discrimination. The principles of equality before the law and the prevention of discrimination underpin modern legislation and core values of our society,” Victorian Bar president Jim Peters QC said.

“These principles provide support for legislative amendment of the definition of “marriage” in s5(1) of the Marriage Act to provide for marriage between same sex couples.”

Federal parliament is considering the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) which currently provides that marriage is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.

The LIV has previously called for amendments to the law to remove legislative discrimination. Its most recent submissions on marriage equality are at


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