Today the Australian Capital Territory Government tabled the Marriage Equality Bill 2013 which, for the first time, will enable Australians to marry on Australian soil.

Deputy National Director, Ivan Hinton said,

“This is a proud moment for ACT residents to witness the removal of prejudice and discrimination within our community. ”

“The ACT will be the first Australian community to move towards acknowledging all relationships equally, catching up with our nearest neighbour, New Zealand.”

“We call on the federal government to allow this law to stand when it is passed, and we call on the Labor leadership contenders to declare they will oppose any federal intervention.”

While tabling the bill the Attorney General, Simon Corbell, detailed a long list of reforms enacted since 2003 to remove discrimination within the ACT.

In his speech the Attorney General made special mention that ministers of religion and faith groups will not be compelled to register to wed same-sex couples.

In response to the issue of constitutional authority Corbell detailed expert testimony in the recent NSW Inquiry that supports NSW, and by extension the ACT, having concurrent powers to legislate in regards to marriage.

Mr Hinton said,

“The question of constitutionality should not prevent the ACT from enacting this law and we applaud the ACT for having the courage of conviction to be willing to have this issue tested in the High Court if it is challenged.”

Once the bill was tabled it was met by a standing ovation from the gallery.
Australian Marriage Equality’s Deputy National Director, Ivan Hinton