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When did gay marriage become legal in Australia?

Marriage equality has been a highly debated topic in Australia for many years. While same-sex couples have been able to enter into civil unions since 2004, it wasn’t until December 9, 2017 that same-sex marriage became legal in Australia. In this blog post, we will explore the timeline of events that led to the legalization of gay marriage in Australia and the impact it has had on the country.

The Road to Marriage Equality

The journey towards marriage equality in Australia began many years prior to the change in law. In 2004, the federal government amended the Marriage Act to include a definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman. Despite this amendment, same-sex couples were able to enter into civil unions to gain some of the same legal rights as married couples.

In 2012, the Australian parliament passed amendments to 100 different laws to recognize same-sex couples in areas such as taxation, social security, and health care. However, this did not extend to marriage itself.

In August 2015, the first attempt to legalize same-sex marriage in Australia was defeated in the parliament. However, the issue remained on the public agenda.

In 2016, the Labor Party vowed to introduce a bill to legalise same-sex marriage within 100 days if it won the federal election. While the election was not won by the Labor Party, the issue continued to gain momentum publically.

In August 2017, the federal government announced that a nationwide postal survey would be held to gauge public support for same-sex marriage. The survey was voluntary and non-binding, meaning that the results would not automatically lead to a change in the law.

The results of the postal survey were announced on November 15, 2017, with 61.6% of respondents voting in favour of legalizing same-sex marriage. In response, the federal government announced that it would introduce a bill to amend the Marriage Act before the end of the year.

On December 7, 2017, the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill passed the Senate. Two days later, it was passed by the House of Representatives, and on December 9, 2017, it became law.

The Impact of Marriage Equality

The legalization of same-sex marriage in Australia has had a significant impact on the country. Same-sex couples are now able to have their relationships recognized equally with the rest of the community, something not possible with civil unions.

In the year following the legalization of same-sex marriage, over 5,800 same-sex marriages were registered in Australia. This shows that there was a significant demand for this change, and that same-sex couples are now able to freely express their love and commitment to each other through marriage.

The legalization of same-sex marriage has also brought Australia in line with many other developed countries around the world. Australia is now one of over 30 countries that have legalized same-sex marriage, demonstrating its commitment to supporting the LGBTQ+ community.


In conclusion, the legalization of same-sex marriage in Australia was a landmark moment for the country. It followed many years of debate and campaigning, and the result was welcomed by the majority of Australians. While there is still work to be done towards greater equality for the LGBTQ+ community, the legalization of same-sex marriage was a significant step towards achieving this goal.


When was homosexuality made legal in Australia?

Homosexuality has been a controversial and heavily stigmatized topic in Australia for many decades. However, it was not until the mid-1990s that the country finally took a step towards ensuring sexual freedom and equality for all individuals. Prior to this time, homosexuality was considered a criminal offense in some Australian states, with serious legal repercussions.

The push for legalization began in the 1970s with the emergence of the gay liberation movement in Australia. This was largely driven by a group of activists who sought to draw attention to gay rights and discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. Despite some initial progress in the 1980s, such as the removal of homosexuality as a mental illness, legalizing homosexuality was still a long way from being reality.

However, things started to change in 1994 when the Australian Parliament passed the Human Rights (Sexual Conduct) Act, which formally decriminalized homosexuality across the entire country, overriding former state laws that had criminalized same-sex conduct. This landmark decision was a significant achievement for both LGBTQ+ individuals and human rights advocates in Australia. From this point on, it became lawful for same-sex couples to engage in sexual activity without fear of prosecution.

The enactment of this law did not come without challenges, and there was a great deal of opposition and criticism from conservative groups and individuals. However, despite the resistance, the government remained committed to ensuring equal rights and protection for all its citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation.

The legalization of homosexuality in Australia in 1994 was an essential step towards creating a more inclusive and accepting society. It opened up opportunities for same-sex couples to live their lives openly and freely. This acted as a catalyst for further legal and social progress in this area, leading to the more recent legalization of same-sex marriage in 2017. Today, Australia is widely seen as one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly countries in the world, and this progress would not have been possible without the Human Rights Act that laid the legal foundation for it all.

What are the marriage laws in Australia?

Marriage laws in Australia are governed by the federal Marriage Act of 1961 and the Marriage Regulations of 2017, which set out the legal requirements for getting married in the country. These laws specify that in order to get married in Australia, a couple must both be at least 18 years old, unless one of them is aged between 16 and 18, in which case they must have court approval by a judge or magistrate to marry. Additionally, if a person is already married, they cannot legally get married again in Australia, unless they have obtained a divorce or their previous marriage has been declared null and void by a court of law.

The Marriage Act also specifies that a legal marriage in Australia must be between two people of the opposite sex or of the same sex, as long as both parties are consenting adults. The law also recognizes certain marriages that are performed overseas, depending on the country and the specific laws of that country.

To get married in Australia, a couple must complete and sign a notice of intended marriage form, which must be submitted to an authorized person at least one month before the wedding. This form includes personal details about the couple, such as their names, addresses, and dates of birth, as well as information about any previous marriages or children.

On the day of the wedding, the couple must have at least two witnesses present, and the ceremony must be conducted by an authorized celebrant, such as a minister, a civil celebrant, or a religious leader with the appropriate authority. The celebrant must ensure that the ceremony follows the legal requirements and that both parties freely and voluntarily consent to the marriage.

After the wedding ceremony, the celebrant must register the marriage with the relevant state or territory authority, which issues a marriage certificate to the couple as proof of their legal marriage. This certificate can be used to reflect a name change or to apply for various legal rights and entitlements that come with being married.

The marriage laws in Australia reflect the country’s commitment to promoting equality and upholding the rights of all individuals to marry the person they love, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.

How many LGBT in Australia?

The question of how many LGBT individuals there are in Australia is not a straightforward one to answer. However, current estimates from the Department of Health (2019) state that approximately 11% of the Australian population identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI). This figure has been gradually increasing in recent years, with more and more people feeling comfortable to come out and live openly.

It is worth noting that this percentage only accounts for those who have identified themselves as LGBTI. There may be many others who are still in the closet, fearing discrimination or persecution based on their sexuality or gender identity. This can be particularly true in more conservative parts of the country, where attitudes towards LGBTI people may still be hostile.

Being LGBTI in Australia can come with its own set of challenges, such as access to healthcare, employment opportunities, and social acceptance. Many have experienced gender and sexuality-based discrimination over their lifetime, and this can have a significant impact on their mental health and wellbeing. Despite this, the LGBTI community is rich and diverse and has a lot to contribute to Australian society.

In recent years, there has been a significant push for greater rights and recognition for LGBTI individuals in Australia. High-profile campaigns have included the push for marriage equality, which was achieved in 2017 after a fiercely contested postal plebiscite. There’s also been a push for greater inclusivity in schools, workplaces, and other public spaces.

While it is difficult to put an exact number on how many LGBTI individuals there are in Australia, it is clear that the community is a vibrant and growing part of society. While there are still challenges to be faced in terms of social equality and acceptance, there is also much cause for celebration and pride in the strength and diversity of the LGBTI community.