With marriage equality achieved across the United States after the Supreme Court’s ruling, the debate and fight for marriage equality has been given more strength and impetus in Australia. America’s largest marriage equality advocacy group, the Human Rights Campaign, has launched a campaign to focus world attention on the lack of marriage equality in Australia.
Australian federal law currently bans recognition of same-sex marriages. Registered partnerships are available in New South Wales, Tasmania, Queensland and Victoria. Since 1 July 2009, Centrelink has recognised same-sex couples equally with those who are married regarding social security, whether they are in a registered or de facto relationship.
In November 2014, Senator Leyonhjelm introduced a bill to legalise same-sex marriage in Australia. Tony Abbott, repeated his opposition to same-sex marriage, indicated that he did not think it was suitable timing with the government already having issues in unrelated matters. There was a call by some groups, such as the Greens, for Abbott to allow Liberal Party members a conscience vote on the issue.
Same-sex unions have been recorded in the history of a number of cultures, but marriages or socially-accepted unions between same-sex partners were rare or nonexistent in other cultures. In the late 20th century, religious rites of marriage without legal recognition became increasingly common. The first law providing for marriage of people of the same sex in modern times was enacted in 2001 in the Netherlands
As of 26 June 2015, 21 countries allow same sex couples to marry, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States and Uruguay,Finland, Ireland and Slovenia and certain sub-jurisdictions allow same-sex couples to marry.
Some analysts state that financial, psychological and physical well-being are enhanced by marriage, and that children of same-sex couples benefit from being raised by two parents within a legally recognized union supported by society’s institutions.