Same-sex marriages and other same-sex relationships with formal recognition in other jurisdictions will be automatically recognised in the ACT as a Civil Union under new laws introduced by Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay today.
The ACT legislated for marriage equality in 2013, before an intervention from the Federal Government prevented same-sex couples from having their relationship recognised through marriage.
The ACT Government continues to support the recognition of same sex relationships and Mr Ramsay said it would continue to advocate for the Federal Government to act on marriage equality.
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The Attorney-General said the Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill (No 3) would amend the Civil Unions Act 2012 to ensure same-sex relationships recognised in other states, territories and countries have the same status as civil unions entered into in the ACT.
“We are and will clearly remain committed to enhancing equality for all Canberrans, and recognising the strength of love,” Mr Ramsay said.
“This change will mean same-sex couples who were married or entered a civil union outside the ACT will automatically have their relationship recognised under ACT law.
“This way the broadest number of ACT residents who enter into one of the growing number of same-sex civil union and civil partnership schemes available around the world have their relationships recognised in the ACT.”
In order to be recognised under the Civil Unions Act 2012, the relationship must:
· be between two adults;
· have been entered into consensually;
· not be a prohibited relationship as defined by section 7 of the Act;
· have not been entered into by a person already married; and
· have not been entered into by a person already in a relationship recognised under the law of another jurisdiction.
The Bill also amends the Juries Act 1967 to restore the provision allowing airline crew members to apply to be exempt from serving on juries. This was previously available under the Air Navigation Regulations 1947 (Cth), which has been repealed.
“The Government acknowledges the nature of the work performed by airline crews often makes jury service impractical,” Mr Ramsay said.
“As a result, we have updated our legislation to ensure they can continue to apply to be exempted from serving on juries.”