Fed Gov’t to now allow for gay Aussies to be married overseas
The Federal Government will soon remove a barrier to Australian same-sex partners marrying overseas, with the Labor Party deciding over the weekend at its National Conference to allow Certificates of No Impediment to Marriage (CNI) to be issued to same-sex couples.
Marriage advocates have said the proposed changes will make a real difference to many people’s relationships, with the CNIs required in many overseas jurisdictions as proof that a person is not already married.
The Attorney-General’s Department is currently drafting the changes, The Australian reports, after Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd announced the policy shift in a reworked foreign affairs platform during the ALP National Conference in Sydney.
West Australian Labor Senator, Louise Pratt, said that she was in conversation with Attorney-General Robert McClelland over the issue.
“We have started discussions and it shouldn’t take a long time to get into place in our expectation,” Pratt said.
Marriage advocates sich as Australian Marriage Equality campaign director, Rodney Croome, have hailed the move, as previously same-sex couples who attempted to get married overseas were left in limbo with the Australian Government refusing to issue CNIs.
“Many gay and lesbians Australians travel overseas to marry because they can't marry here, but when they discover the Australian Government won’t give them the required paperwork, weddings plans have to be cancelled and the partners concerned continue to experience the legal and social disadvantages of not being able to marry,” Croome said.
The announced changes come less than a fortnight after former Tasmanian Labor Premier David Bartlett criticised his Labor colleagues within the Federal Government for effectively blocking his lesbian sister’s marriage in Portugal early next year by denying her a CNI.