For some time now the great debate over the legalisation of same sex marraiges has been fought with much controversy both nationally and internationally.
In Australia, through it’s powers under the Federal Consititution, the Commonwealth Government enacted legislation which defined marriage as “the union of a man and woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”.
This definition of marriage has been hotly debated in recent times as it clearly does not include same sex couples. However, with social reform in the air our nation’s Capital may just be the first Australian jurisdiction to legalise gay marriage. The ACT Labour government has this week introduced a Marriage Equality Bill into parliament to allow same sex couples to formally marry. This will be debated within the Legislative Assembly next month. It is suspected to pass, with the Greens Party supporting the minority Labour government on the move.
Although currently under Federal Family Law jurisdiction, same sex couples have the same entitlements as any married or de-facto couple in relation to property division, including superannuation, the institution of marriage remains elusive.
It remains to be seen if the Federal Government, which has strongly opposed same sex marriage will intervene and over turn the legislation or initiate a High Court challenge in order to exercise their constitutional rights in respect of marriage.
So watch this space for further updates!!!
If you need advice in relation to any matrimonial issue, call Kim Lawson on 43247699.