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Australia: Campaigners mark 10 years since introduction of ban on same-sex marriage

Nick Duffy August 12, 2014

Campaigners in Australia are marking the 10th anniversary of the country’s legal ban on same-sex marriage.

Australia’s Marriage Act was first amended to explicitly ban same-sex marriage in August 2004 – by the then-coalition government, with the support of the Labor party.

The amendment, which had popular support at the time, states: “A marriage means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.

“A union solemnised in a foreign country between man and another man or a woman and another woman must not be recognised as a marriage in Australia.”

Rallies are being held this weekend in Melbourne and Sydney to mark the 10th anniversary of the ban, and to call for equal marriage to be finally introduced.

Rodney Croome, director of Australian Marriage Equality said: “Since 2004 public support for marriage equality has increased from 38% to 72%, more MPs than ever before support the reform and the number of countries that allow same-sex marriages has increased from three to almost twenty.”

“These positive developments will inspire supporters of marriage equality to redouble their efforts.”

“[Over the last decade] partners who wished to marry have died, couples who wanted to marry at home have been forced overseas to wed, and too many parliamentary votes have failed because MPs were forced to vote along party lines.”

“But each time our resolve to continue the marriage equality has been strengthened and we will not pause until Australia rejoins the company of nations that treats all loving couples equally.”

Lone Liberal Democrat MP David Leyonhjelm introduced a same-sex marriage bill last month, and claims it is “highly likely” the government will finally allow MPs a free vote on the issue.

The last vote on same-sex marriage in Australia was held in 2012, when the House of Representatives rejected it by 98-42, and the senate by 41-26, despite popular support.

Rallies will be held at 1pm on August 16, outside the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne, and Sydney town hall.

More: Australia, Australia, ban, challenge, civil partnership, equal marriage, gay marriage, gay wedding, Labor, lesbian marriage, lesbian wedding, Liberal, marriage, marriage ban, marriage equality, party, same sex marriage, Same-sex, Same-sex wedding, Tony Abbott, wedding

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