Marriage Equality for All Australians
In 2004, the Australian Marriage Act was amended to read the following: Marriage means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life. And: 88EA Certain unions are not marriages A union solemnised in a foreign country between: (a) A man and another man; or (b) A woman and another woman; Must not be recognised as a marriage in Australia. When this amendment was passed into the Marriage Act, many Australian citizens were denied the right to legally declare their relationship to each other. Under the current legislation, it is impossible for Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and Intersex (GLTI) persons to enter into a legally legitimate union. For these members of the community, there is no legal protection for their partners in the event of their death, or serious injury. Current legislation in many states still prohibits a same-sex spouse from having access to Superannuation funds or government and veterans\' pensions. But this is not all about the money. In the event of a serious injury, same sex partners can be kept out of care units in hospitals and are unable to make crucial decisions in regards to the care of their partner. Parents of an injured person are able to deny access to loved ones, because legally there is no recognition of their relationship, and medical professionals are not required to give them access. Simply by amending one sentence of the Marriage Act, GLTI couples would be afforded the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts. The federal government has also altered the rules for marriage celebrants, requiring that all celebrants be registered, and that no registered celebrants perform any kind of commitment ceremony for same sex couples. This has all but removed the ability for GLTI couples to publicly declare their commitment to each other, even without any legal binding. Several states have passed legislation to offer some rights to their citizens. What is required is a nationally accepted legal position on the legitimacy of GLTI couples. We, the people of Australia, and here undersigned, demand that the government of Australia amend the current legislation to include members of the entire Australian community. We demand that the current discriminatory legislation against same sex couples be removed and a more general term of marriage be adopted. We suggest that the current legislation be replaced for this: Marriage means the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life. And: 88EA Certain unions are marriages A union solemnised in a foreign country between: (a) A man and another man; or (b) A woman and another woman; Must be recognised as a marriage in Australia. If you believe that the current legislation should be altered, please sign your details on the below petition.