Ellen and Portia. Image, here

Marriage equality advocates have called on the Federal Government to commit to recognising the legal marriage of Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi as a gesture of goodwill following the couple’s visit down under.

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said,

“The Australian public have overwhelmingly accepted that Ellen and Portia are married, but under Australian law they are considered to be legal strangers.”

“It’s time for the government to recognise overseas same-sex marriages if Australia is to live up to its reputation as a friendly, accepting nation.”

“Hundreds of Australian same-sex couples have travelled overseas to marry and that number is likely to increase soon with marriage equality in New Zealand, Britain and France.”

“The lives of these couples and their families will be dramatically improved by the recognition of their solemn vows in Australian law.”

The Australian Marriage Act has explicitly banned the recognition of overseas same-sex marriages since 2004.

Several countries recognise overseas same-sex marriages even though they do not solemnise such marriages. They include Israel, Japan and Slovenia.

Twelve nations allow same-sex couples to marry.