Same-sex weddings in Australia

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Same-sex weddings in Australia

The right to marry in Australia will no longer be determined by sex or gender.

On 9 December 2017, the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 will commence. The Act changes the definition of marriage and provides for marriage equality in Australia. The right to marry in Australia will no longer be determined by sex or gender.

More information is available on the Attorney-General’s Department Marriage equality in Australia page.

Australians voted on same-sex marriage via a postal survey in 2017 .  The question asked was “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry”.

There was an overall 79.5% return rate on the 16 million surveys sent out by the Australian Bureau Statics . The answer to the question on was a resounding ‘Yes’ (61.6%) vote.

The Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 was introduced into the Senate by Dean Smith on 15 November 2017.

On 7 December 2017, the Australian Parliament passed the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 to change the definition of marriage and provide for marriage equality in Australia.        The right to marry in Australia will no longer be determined by sex or gender.

Changes to the marriage ceremony

The new definition of marriage will be reflected in the ceremony through the vows and monitum.

All authorised celebrants are required to explain the nature of the marriage relationship in all marriage ceremonies we perform (section 46 of the Marriage Act). So, from 9 December 2017 we will need to state the monitum as follows:

I am duly authorised by law to solemnise marriages according to law.

Before you are joined marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter.

Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.

Same-sex weddings

The Australian Government has progressed arrangements for marriage equality to begin on 9 December 2017.

Same-sex couples are now able to lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage form with an authorised celebrant as from the 9 December 2017. Section 42 of the Marriage Act requires the Notice of Intended Marriage form to be given in writing, a minimum of one month (and up to 18 months) before the date of the marriage.

Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM)

The Notice of Intended Marriage form (NOIM) needs to be completed prior to your marriage, so it is important to complete this form correctly.

Decide the date and where you wish to marry followed by who you wish to perform your marriage ceremony – that is a religious ceremony or civil ceremony. Once you have decided on this and engaged the services of your celebrant you are now ready to complete the NOIM.

The NOIM form must be completed and given to your celebrant at least one month (and up to 18 months) before your wedding. The authorised celebrant to whom the NOIM is given sends the NOIM to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages of the State or Territory in which the marriage takes place, after the marriage ceremony.

Identification required

You and your partner must provide your celebrant with:

  • Evidence of your date and place of birth
  • Proof of the end of any previous marriages. That is evidence of death, nullity or dissolution needs to be provided.

Download the current Notice of Intended Marriage form here.

As an experienced authorised marriage celebrant in Perth, I can provide advice on the legal requirements for marriage, when the amendments occur and on when the minimum time required for you to lodge your Notice of Intended Marriage form.

Call me, Lesley Gasmier, on 0432 432 812 to discuss your wedding plans or send an email to lesley@waweddingcelebrant.com.au. I look forward to being part of your special day.

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