Less than a week after Australia elected Prime Minister Tony
Abbott – leaving little doubt that a federal gay marriage law will
not be approved in the next three years – Katy Gallagher, chief
minister of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), has announced
that her government would “bring forward legislation that delivers
equality for same-sex couples, legislation that promises them the
right to marry.”
marriage hopes dashed as conservatives return to power in Australia.)
The ACT's largest city, Canberra, serves as the nation's capital.
Laws approved in Australia's smallest self-governing internal
territory, which in 1994 became the first jurisdiction to legally
acknowledge gay and lesbian couples, can be overridden by the federal
In 2006, the federal government intervened to repeal a civil
unions law approved by ACT lawmakers.
“It is a matter of time,” Gallagher is quoted as saying by
Australian. “We would prefer to see the federal parliament
legislate for a nationally consistent scheme, but in the absence of
this we will act for the people of the ACT. The Marriage Equality
Bill 2013 will enable couples who are not able to marry under the
Commonwealth Marriage Act 1961 to enter into marriage in the ACT. It
will provide solemnization, eligibility, dissolution and annulment,
regulatory requirements and notice of intention in relation to
“With this legislation, we will state loud and clear that all
people have equal rights in our society and are treated equally by
our laws,” she added.
New South Wales (NSW) is also debating legalizing gay nuptials.