Chronology of same-sex marriage bills introduced into the federal parliament: a quick guide

Updated 15 May 2017

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Deirdre McKeown
Politics and Public Administration Section

 

The introduction of legislation on marriage equality has continued in the current (45th) Parliament. Since September 2016 four same-sex marriage bills have been introduced into the federal parliament, while six bills were introduced into the previous (44th) Parliament. 

Since the 2004 amendment to the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) which inserted the current definition of marriage, 22 bills dealing with marriage equality or the recognition of overseas same-sex marriages have been introduced into the federal Parliament. Four bills have come to a vote: three in the Senate (in 2010, 2012 and 2013), and one in the House of Representatives (in 2012). These bills were all defeated at the second reading stage; consequently no bill has been debated by the second chamber. To date, the bills have been introduced by members of parliament representing the Australian Democrats, Australian Greens, Australian Labor Party, Liberal Democratic Party, Liberal Party of Australia and by Independents.

A bill introduced into the House of Representatives in August 2015 was the first cross-party same-sex marriage bill introduced into the Parliament. An earlier House of Representatives bill, introduced by Opposition leader Bill Shorten, was the first time a same-sex marriage bill was introduced by the leader of a political party.

This Quick Guide provides a chronological list of bills relating to marriage equality introduced into the federal parliament, including bills restored to the Notice Paper or reintroduced in a later parliament. The information on each bill includes:

  • whether or not a conscience vote was granted by the major parties (Note: Australian Greens policy is to support marriage equality, and the Australian Democrats had previously adopted a similar policy)
  • links to each bill homepage and, where available, the bills digest and committee reports
  • links to parliamentary speeches and answers to parliamentary questions
  • type of bill: government or private
  • changes in party policy
  • comments by party leaders and other members of parliament where relevant
  • status of the bill: current, defeated or lapsed and
  • results of divisions in the Senate and House of Representatives.

The list also includes one government bill: the Marriage Amendment Bill 2004 which inserted the definition of marriage as the ‘union between a man and a woman’.

The list does not include the following plebiscite bills (in which no party was granted a conscience vote):

  • the Marriage Equality Plebiscite Bill 2015 was introduced in the Senate on 19 August 2015. The previous week, the leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Richard Di Natale, had announced that the Greens and other members of the Senate crossbench would ‘put forward a bill to ensure a fair question on marriage equality is put to the people no later than the next election’. The Bill lapsed at the prorogation of the 44th Parliament.
  • the Plebiscite (Same-Sex) Marriage) Bill 2016 was introduced by the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, in the House of Representatives on 14 September 2016. The Bill fulfilled a Liberal Party election promise and sought to establish the legislative framework for a compulsory, in-person vote in a national plebiscite that would ask Australians ‘Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?’. The Bill passed the lower House on 20 October 2016 but was defeated at the second reading stage in the Senate on 7 November 2016.

Additional information on conscience votes and same-sex marriage is available in the Parliamentary Library publications: Conscience votes on same-sex marriage legislation (D McKeown and R Lundie, 2011), Same-sex marriage (M Neilsen, 2012), Same-sex marriage brief (M Neilsen, 2013), Same-sex marriage: issues for the 44th Parliament (M Neilsen, 2015), Same-sex marriage: key issues for the 45th Parliament (M Neilsen, 2016) and various bills digests (links included in the following table).

Please note the following abbreviations: 2R (second reading), 3R (third reading), HoR (House of Representatives), Australian Democrats (AD), Australian Greens (AG), Australian Labor Party (ALP), Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Liberal Party of Australia (LIB) and Independent (IND).

Background

Marriage Bill 1961

The Marriage Bill 1961 was first introduced into the House of Representatives on 19 May 1960 by Attorney-General Sir Garfield Barwick (LIB, NSW) as the Marriage Bill 1960. The Bill sought to introduce uniform marriage laws across Australia. In his second reading speech on 19 May 1960 Barwick noted that:

 ... it will be observed that there is no attempt to define marriage in this bill. None of the marriage laws to which I have referred contains any such definition.

The second reading debate was postponed to allow for consultations with the States and other interested organisations over the proposed administrative arrangements. On 18 August 1960 the Bill passed the second reading stage in the House of Representatives without a division. On 8 September 1960 Barwick announced that various adjustments to the Bill were required. He proposed circulating amendments, withdrawing the Bill at the committee stage and replacing it with a new Bill incorporating the amendments. The Bill lapsed before the committee stage because the second session of the Parliament was closed on 9 December 1960.

On 21 March 1961 Barwick reintroduced the Bill (Marriage Bill 1961) stating that it incorporated:

... the amendments which would have been dealt with in committee, together with the original bill, had it been found possible to proceed with the committee stage. As I have said, that was not found possible and the 1960 bill has now lapsed.

In the same speech he also said:

Because of the similarity between the Marriage Bill 1960 and the present bill, and because of the very full second-reading debate in this House last year, the present bill will go to the committee stage without a second-reading debate.

Both major parties (ALP and LIB) were granted a conscience vote on the Bill. On 22 March 1961 the Bill passed the second and third reading stages in the House of Representatives without divisions.

The Bill was introduced into the Senate on 23 March 1961 and passed the second reading stage on 18 April 1961 without division. On the same day, during the committee stage, Senator George Hannan (LIB, Vic.) sought to insert a definition of marriage as ‘the voluntary union of one man with one woman for life to the exclusion of all others’ but this was defeated 40–8. The Bill passed the third reading stage without division.

Marriage Amendment Bill 2004

Year

2004

Status

Current (in force)

Government
Prime Minister

Coalition
John Howard

Parties with a conscience vote

None

Bill type

Government

Description

The Marriage Legislation Amendment Bill 2004 sought to amend the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) to define marriage as a union of a man and a woman; and clarify that same-sex marriages entered into under the law of another country would not be recognised in Australia; and Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) to prevent intercountry adoptions by same sex couples under multilateral or bilateral agreements or arrangements.

The Bill was referred to a Senate Committee for inquiry but within a day of its referral a second Bill (the Marriage Amendment Bill 2004) was introduced into Parliament. This second Bill did not contain the amendments relating to overseas adoption — these being the ones that the Labor Party had indicated it would not support. At the same time, the parliamentary committee inquiry into the first Bill was also abandoned. The rationale for this unusual and dramatic change of direction was so that the Bill would have a speedy passage through the Parliament. (See Same-sex marriage, Background Note, p. 5.)

The Bill was introduced into the HoR on 27/05/04 and passed the 2R and 3R stages on 17/06/04 without division. The Bill was introduced into the Senate on 18/06/04. The 2R moved on the same date.

Bill homepage  Bills digest

The second bill, the Marriage Amendment Bill 2004, sought to amend the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) to define marriage as a union of a man and a woman; and clarify that same-sex marriages entered into under the law of another country will not be recognised in Australia.

Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock (LIB, NSW) stated in his 2R speech that:

The bill is necessary because there is significant community concern about the possible erosion of the institution of marriage ... A related concern held by many people is that there are now some countries that permit same-sex couples to marry.

The amendments to the Marriage Act contained in this bill will make it absolutely clear that Australia will not recognise same-sex marriages entered into under the laws of another country, whatever that country may be.

Bill homepage  Bills digest

Sponsor

Government bill

Debates

HoR: introduced 24/06/04; 2R Ruddock and 3R 24/06/04

Senate: introduced 12/08/04; 2R and 3R 12/08/04

Votes

HoR: 24/06/04 2R and 3R: no division

Senate: 12/08/04 2R Ayes: 38, Noes: 7; 3R Ayes: 38, Noes: 6

Result

The first Bill, the Marriage Legislation Amendment Bill 2004, lapsed at the end of the 40th Parliament (31/8/2004).

The second Bill, the Marriage Amendment Bill 2004, passed both Houses.

 

Same Sex Relationships (Enduring Equality) Bill 2004

Year

2004

Status

Lapsed

Government
Prime Minister

Coalition
John Howard

Parties with a conscience vote

None

Bill type

Private member

Description

The Bill sought to ensure people in same-sex relationships receive the same rights as people in heterosexual relationships in all areas of the law (including marriage).

Bill homepage

Sponsor

Michael Organ (AG, NSW)

Debates

HoR: introduced 24/05/04 Organ

Votes

No vote

Result

The Bill did not proceed past the first reading.

 

Same-Sex Marriage Bill 2006

Year

2006

Status

Lapsed

Government
Prime Minister

Coalition
John Howard

Parties with a conscience vote

None

Bill type

Private senator

Description

The Bill sought to amend the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) to ensure that same-sex marriages are given equal status to heterosexual marriages, including repealing the definition of ‘marriage’ as the union between a man and a woman and repealing provisions which prevent same-sex marriages entered into under the law of another country from being recognised in Australia.

Bill homepage

Sponsors

Natasha Stott Despoja (AD, SA), Andrew Bartlett (AD, Qld)

Debates

Senate: Bill introduced 15/06/06; 2R Bartlett 15/06/06

Votes

No vote

Result

The Bill lapsed at the end of 41st Parliament (17/10/2007).

 

Marriage (Relationships Equality) Amendment Bill 2007

Year

2007

Status

Lapsed

Government
Prime Minister

Coalition
John Howard

Parties with a conscience vote

None

Bill type

Private senator

Description

The Bill sought to amend the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) to remove discriminatory references based on sexual orientation and gender identity; and allow marriage regardless of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Bill homepage

Sponsor

Kerry Nettle (AG, NSW)

Debates

Senate: introduced 01/03/07; 2R Bob Brown (AG, Tas.) 01/03/07

Votes

No vote

Result

The Bill lapsed at the end of 41st Parliament (17/10/2007).

 

Marriage (Relationships Equality) Amendment Bill 2008

Year

2008

Status

Lapsed

Government
Prime Minister

ALP
Kevin Rudd

Parties with a conscience vote

None

Bill type

Private senator

Description

The Bill sought to amend the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) to amend the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples.

Bill homepage

Sponsor

Kerry Nettle (AG, NSW)

Debates

Senate: introduced 14/02/08, 2R Nettle 14/02/08

Votes

No vote

Result

The Bill lapsed at the end of 42nd Parliament (19/07/2010).

 

Same-Sex Marriage Bill 2008

Year

2008

Status

Lapsed

Government
Prime Minister

ALP
Kevin Rudd

Parties with a conscience vote

None

Bill type

Private senator

Description

The Bill sought to amend the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) to ensure that same-sex marriages are given equal status to heterosexual marriages, including repealing the definition of ‘marriage’ as the union between a man and a woman and repealing provisions which prevent same-sex marriages entered into under the law of another country from being recognised in Australia.

Bill homepage

Sponsor

Andrew Bartlett (AD, Qld)

Debates

Senate: Bill restored to the Notice Paper 14/02/08 (see Same-Sex Marriage Bill 2006), no further debate

Votes

No vote

Result

The Bill lapsed at the end of 42nd Parliament (19/07/2010).

 

Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2009

Year

2009

Status

Defeated

Government
Prime Minister

ALP
Kevin Rudd

Parties with a conscience vote

None

Bill type

Private senator

Description

The Bill sought to amend the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) to remove all discriminatory references based on sexual orientation and gender identity; and allow marriage regardless of sex, sexuality and gender identity.

Bill homepage

Sponsor

Sarah Hanson-Young (AG, SA)

Debates

Senate: introduced 24/06/09; 2R Hanson-Young 24/06/09; referred to Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee 25/06/09; the Committee reported on 26/11/09. The Committee recommended that the Bill not be passed.

Votes

Senate: 25/02/10 2R Ayes: 5, Noes: 40

Result

The Bill was defeated at 2R stage in the Senate.

 

Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010

Year

2010

Status

Lapsed

Government
Prime Minister

ALP
Julia Gillard

Parties with a conscience vote

ALP
On 03/12/2011 delegates to the ALP National Conference adopted marriage equality as official ALP policy. (See ALP National Platform, paras 126-7.) Delegates also supported Prime Minister Gillard’s proposal that MPs be allowed a conscience vote on the issue. 

Bill type

Private senator

Description

The Bill sought to amend the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) to remove discriminatory references based on sexual orientation and gender identity; and allow marriage regardless of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Bill homepage  Bills digest

Sponsor

Sarah Hanson-Young (AG, SA)

Debates

Senate: introduced 29/09/10; 2R Hanson-Young 29/09/10; referred to Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee 08/02/12; the Committee reported on 25/06/12; debate resumed 23/08/12.

Votes

No vote

Result

The Bill was discharged from the Senate Notice Paper on 25/02/13.

 

Marriage Amendment Bill 2012

Year

2012

Status

Defeated

Government
Prime Minister

ALP
Julia Gillard

Parties with a conscience vote

ALP

Bill type

Private members

Description

The Bill sought to amend the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) to enable same-sex marriages to be recognised and place no obligation on a minister of religion to solemnise a same-sex marriage.

Bill homepage  Bills digest

Sponsor

Stephen Jones (ALP, NSW)

Debates

HoR: introduced 13/02/12; 2R Jones 27/02/12

Votes

HoR: 19/09/12 2R Ayes: 42 (ALP: 38) Noes: 98 (ALP: 26)  

Result

The Bill was defeated at the 2R stage in the House of Representatives.

Comments

Before the vote Opposition Leader Tony Abbott (LIB, NSW) had refused to grant his party a conscience vote saying in a Sky News interview on 12/12/11:

I went to the [2010] election saying that the Coalition had a clear policy on this [same-sex marriage]. It wasn't just a personal position ... it was the clear policy of the Coalition at the election that marriage was between a man and a woman.

In his 2R speech Malcolm Turnbull (LIB, NSW) said ‘Were ... a free vote to be permitted I would support legislation which recognised same-sex couples as being described as in a marriage.’

 

Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2012

Year

2012

Status

Lapsed

Government
Prime Minister

ALP
Julia Gillard

Parties with a conscience vote

ALP

Bill type

Private member

Description

The Bill sought to amend the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) to remove discriminatory references based on sexual orientation and gender identity; and allow marriage regardless of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Bill homepage  Bills digest

Sponsors

Adam Bandt (AG, Vic.), Andrew Wilkie (IND, Tas.)

Debates

HoR: introduced Bandt 13/2/2012; 2R Bandt 18/06/12

Votes

HoR: no 2R vote occurred

Result

The Bill lapsed when the House of Representatives was dissolved on 05/08/13.

 

Marriage Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2012

Year

2012

Status

Defeated

Government
Prime Minister

ALP
Julia Gillard

Parties with a conscience vote

ALP

Bill type

Private senator

Description

The Bill sought to amend the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) to enable same-sex marriages to be recognised and place no obligation on a minister of religion to solemnise a same-sex marriage.

Bill homepage

Sponsors

Carol Brown (ALP, Tas.), Trish Crossin (ALP, NT), Gavin Marshall (ALP, Vic.) and Louise Pratt (ALP, WA)

Debates

Senate: introduced 10/09/12; 2R Crossin 10/09/12

Votes

Senate: 20/09/12 2R Ayes: 26 (ALP: 16), Noes: 41 (ALP: 11)

Result

The Bill was defeated at the 2R stage in the Senate.

Comments

In the 2R debate Senator Sue Boyce (LIB, Qld) said ‘I would like to put on record my support for the intention of this Marriage Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2012’.

Senator Cory Bernardi (LIB, SA) said:

If we are prepared to redefine marriage ... then what is the next step? The next step ... is having three people or four people that love each other being able to enter into a permanent union endorsed by society—or any other type of relationship ... There are even some ... people out there ... [who say] it is okay to have consensual sexual relations between humans and animals. Will that be a future step?

 

Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2013

Year

2013

Status

Lapsed

Government
Prime Minister

ALP
Julia Gillard

Parties with a conscience vote

ALP

Bill type

Private senator

Description

The Bill sought to amend the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) to define marriage as a union of two people; clarify that ministers of religion are not bound to solemnise marriage by any other law; remove the prohibition of the recognition of same-sex marriages solemnised in a foreign country; and include a regulation making power so that consequential amendments can be made to other Acts.

Bill homepage

Sponsor

Sarah Hanson-Young (AG, SA)

Debates

Senate: introduced 25/02/13; 2R Hanson-Young 25/02/13; debate adjourned 26/11/14

Votes

No vote

Result

The Bill lapsed at the end of the 43rd Parliament.

 

Marriage Act Amendment (Recognition of Foreign Marriages for Same-Sex Couples) Bill 2013

Year

2013

Status

Defeated

Government
Prime Minister

ALP
Julia Gillard

Parties with a conscience vote

ALP 

Bill type

Private senator

Description

The Bill sought to amend the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) to enable same-sex marriages validly entered into in foreign countries to be recognised under the laws of Australia.

Bill homepage

Sponsor

Sarah Hanson-Young (AG, SA)

Debates

Senate: introduced 16/05/13; 2R Hanson-Young 16/05/13

Votes

Senate: 20/6/2013 2R Ayes: 28 (ALP: 17) Noes: 44 (ALP: 12)

Result

The Bill was defeated at the 2R stage in the Senate.

Comments

Senator Sue Boyce (LIB, Qld) crossed the floor to vote in favour of the Bill.

On 19/06/13 media reports suggested that Senator Cory Bernardi (LIB, SA) said that some sections of society were now moving in the direction he had predicted [polyamorous relationships]. On 28/02/13 Senator Bernardi had spoken in the Parliament about a petition initiated by the Polyamory Action Lobby on this issue.

 

Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2013

Year

2013

Status

Lapsed

Government
Prime Minister

Coalition
Tony Abbott

Parties with a conscience vote

ALP

Bill type

Private senator

Description

The Bill sought to amend the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) to define marriage as a union of two people; clarify that ministers of religion are not bound to solemnise marriage by any other law; remove the prohibition of the recognition of same-sex marriages solemnised in a foreign country; and include a regulation making power so that consequential amendments can be made to other Acts.

Bill homepage

Sponsor

Sarah Hanson-Young (AG, SA)

Debates

Senate: introduced 12/12/13; 2R Hanson-Young, debate adjourned 12/12/13

Votes

 

Result

The Parliament was prorogued at 5pm on 15/4/16. The Bill lapsed at prorogation, was restored to the Notice Paper on 19/4/16, and lapsed at the dissolution of the Parliament on 9/5/16.

 

Recognition of Foreign Marriages Bill 2014

Year

2014

Status

Lapsed

Government
Prime Minister

Coalition
Tony Abbott

Parties with a conscience vote

ALP

Bill type

Private senator

Description

The Bill sought to amend the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) to: remove the prohibition of the recognition of same-sex marriages solemnised in a foreign country; and provide that these marriages are recognised under the laws of Australia.

Bill homepage

Sponsor

Sarah Hanson-Young (AG, SA)

Debates

Senate: introduced 15/05/14; 2R Hanson-Young, debate adjourned 15/05/14; Bill referred to Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee 15/05/14; the Committee reported on 25/09/14. The Committee recommended that the Bill not be passed.

Votes

 

Result

The Parliament was prorogued at 5pm on 15/4/16. The Bill lapsed at prorogation, was restored to the Notice Paper on 19/4/16, and lapsed at the dissolution of the Parliament on 9/5/16.

 

Freedom to Marry Bill 2014

Year

2014

Status

Lapsed

Government
Prime Minister

Coalition
Tony Abbott

Parties with a conscience vote

ALP

Bill type

Private senator

Description

The Bill sought to amend the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) to provide that people may marry regardless of their sex, sexual orientation or gender identity; registered marriage celebrants are not able to discriminate; religious and non-religious private sector celebrants have freedom of conscience not to solemnise marriages; and chaplains in the defence force may exercise a freedom of conscience while maintaining a positive duty to try to ensure that all couples who seek their services are able to marry.

Bill homepage

Sponsor

David Leyonhjelm (LDP, NSW)

Debates

Senate: introduced 26/11/14; 2R Leyonhjelm, debate adjourned 26/11/14

Votes

 

Result

The Parliament was prorogued at 5pm on 15/4/16. The Bill lapsed at prorogation.

 

Marriage Amendment (Marriage Equality) Bill 2015

Year

2015

Status

Lapsed

Government
Prime Minister

Coalition
Tony Abbott

Parties with a conscience vote

ALP

Bill type

Private member

Description

The Bill sought to amend the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) to define marriage as a union of two people; clarify that ministers of religion are not bound to solemnise marriage by any other law; remove the prohibition of the recognition of same sex marriages solemnised in a foreign country; and include a regulation making power so that consequential amendments can be made to other Acts.

Bill homepage

Sponsor

Bill Shorten (ALP, Vic., Leader of the Opposition)

Debates

HoR: introduced 01/06/15; 2R Shorten 01/06/15; Federation Chamber 15/06/15, 22/06/15, 12/8/15, debate adjourned 17/8/15

Votes

 

Result

The Bill was removed from the Notice Paper in accordance with Standing Order 42 on 9/2/16.

Comments

On 27/05/15, in answer to a Question without Notice from Bill Shorten, Leader of the Opposition, on allowing a conscience vote on same-sex marriage, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said:

... If, because of the actions of this parliament, a private member's bill were to be brought on for a vote, at that point in time, this matter—as is well known—would be handled by the coalition party room.

This is an important issue. It is not the only important issue facing our country right now, but it is an important issue. It is an issue upon which there are sharply divided views inside this parliament, inside our respective political parties and, indeed, as is well known, even inside my own family. It is important that all views be treated with respect, because this is one of those subjects upon which decent people can disagree. Now, I cannot foresee the future. I do not know how our society will develop. I do not know how this parliament will proceed in the months and years ahead. I do just make this one point, though. If our parliament were to make a big decision on a matter such as this, it ought to be owned by the parliament and not by any particular party. So I would ask the Leader of the Opposition and all members of parliament to consider this as we ponder these subjects in the weeks and months to come.

 

Marriage Legislation Amendment Bill 2015

Year

2015

Status

Lapsed

Government
Prime Minister

Coalition
Tony Abbott

Parties with a conscience vote

ALP 

Bill type

Private member

Description

The Bill sought to amend the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) to allow couples to marry, and have their marriages recognised, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status.

Bill homepage

Sponsor

Warren Entsch (LIB, Qld), Teresa Gambaro (LIB, Qld), Terri Butler (ALP, Qld), Laurie Ferguson (ALP, NSW), Adam Bandt (AG, Vic.), Cathy McGowan (IND, Vic.) and Andrew Wilkie (IND, Tas.)

Debates

HoR: introduced 17/08/15; 2R Entsch, debate adjourned 17/08/15

Votes

 

Result

The Parliament was prorogued at 5pm on 15/4/16. The Bill lapsed at prorogation.

Comments

On 26 July 2015, the ALP National Conference agreed to continue the existing policy and allow members a conscience vote on same-sex marriage until 2019 after which (on the commencement of the 46th Parliament) members will be bound to support same-sex marriage. Opposition leader, Bill Shorten, promised that within 100 days of a Labor government being elected he would ‘move in the parliament of Australia for marriage equality for Australians’.

On 11 August 2015 the Coalition party room considered its position on same-sex marriage in a six hour meeting. The following day, in response to a Question without Notice, Prime Minister Tony Abbott, referred to the result of the party room meeting and stated:

The government [has] ... done what we said we would do before the election. Before the election, I said that if this matter was to come up in this parliament it would be dealt with by the coalition party room in the usual way ...

This matter was discussed by our party room ... for fully six hours yesterday; some 90 members of the party room had their say. By a very strong majority, essentially by two to one, we decided to confirm our existing position for this term of parliament, the position that we took to the election, that marriage is between a man and a woman.

The Prime Minister also raised the possibility of holding a plebiscite or referendum on the issue during the term of the next parliament. In the same answer he said:

Our strong disposition is to go into the next election with a commitment to put this to the people.

 

Marriage Amendment (Marriage Equality) Bill 2016

Year

2016

Status

Lapsed

Government
Prime Minister

Coalition
Malcolm Turnbull

Parties with a conscience vote

ALP 

Bill type

Private member

Description

The Bill sought to amend the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) to define marriage as a union of two people; clarify that ministers of religion are not bound to solemnise marriage by any other law; remove the prohibition of the recognition of same-sex marriages solemnised in a foreign country; and include a regulation making power so that consequential amendments can be made to other Acts.

Bill homepage

Sponsor

Tanya Plibersek (ALP, NSW)

Debates

HoR: introduced 2/5/16; 2R Plibersek, debate adjourned 2/5/16

Votes

 

Result

The Bill lapsed at the dissolution of the Parliament on 9/5/16.

Comments

Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Tanya Plibersek, reintroduced the Labor Party’s 2015 Bill which had been removed from the Notice Paper and explained the reason for the 2016 Bill:

When we heard that coalition MPs did not feel they could support a bill introduced by the Leader of the Opposition [in 2015], we withdrew our bill to allow another to be put forward, sponsored by backbenchers from all parties.

Neither the Leader of the Opposition nor I cared whose name was on the bill, only that it would pass ...

He [Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull] signed on to the plebiscite-delaying tactic to secure the support of the Liberal Party's right wing.

We know it is nothing but a delaying tactic because there is no sign of movement from this government ...

That is why, today, we will try to put right some of that by reintroducing a bill for marriage equality ...

[S]adly, it is unlikely this bill will pass this week. But our push for full equality is not going away.

Think of this bill as a marker.

 

Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2013

Year

2016

Status

Current

Government
Prime Minister

Coalition
Malcolm Turnbull

Parties with a conscience vote

ALP

Bill type

Private senator

Description

The Bill seeks to amend the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) to: define marriage as a union of two people; clarify that ministers of religion are not bound to solemnise marriage by any other law; remove the prohibition of the recognition of same-sex marriages solemnised in a foreign country; and include a regulation making power so that consequential amendments can be made to other Acts.

Bill homepage

Sponsor

Sarah Hanson-Young (AG, SA) [Janet Rice (AG, Vic.)]

Debates

Senate: the Bill was restored to the Notice Paper on 31/8/16, 2R Rice, debate adjourned 15/9/16

Votes

 

Result

 

Comments

On 30/8/16 Senator Rachel Siewert (AG, WA) moved that the Bill be restored to the Notice Paper and that consideration of the Bill be resumed at the stage reached [second reading] in the last session of the previous Parliament.

 

Marriage Legislation Amendment Bill 2016

Year

2016

Status

Lapsed

Government
Prime Minister

Coalition
Malcolm Turnbull

Parties with a conscience vote

ALP

Bill type

Private member

Description

The Bill sought to amend the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) to: define marriage as a union of two people; clarify that ministers of religion or chaplains are not bound to solemnise marriage; remove the prohibition of the recognition of same sex marriages solemnised in a foreign country; and make a consequential amendment to the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth). The Bill also includes a regulation making power so that consequential amendments can be made to other Acts.

Bill homepage

Sponsor

Bill Shorten (ALP, Vic., Leader of the Opposition)

Debates

HoR: introduced 12/9/16; 2R Shorten, debate adjourned 12/9/16

Votes

 

Result

The Bill was removed from the Notice Paper in accordance with Standing Order 42 on 21/03/17.

 

Marriage Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 [No. 2]

Year

2016

Status

Current

Government
Prime Minister

Coalition
Malcolm Turnbull

Parties with a conscience vote

ALP

Bill type

Private member

Description

The Bill seeks to amend the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) to: define marriage as a union of two people; clarify that ministers of religion or chaplains are not bound to solemnise marriage; remove the prohibition of the recognition of same-sex marriages solemnised in a foreign country; and make a consequential amendment to the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth). The Bill also includes a regulation making power so that consequential amendments can be made to other Acts.

Bill homepage

Sponsor

Adam Bandt (AG, Vic.), Cathy McGowan (IND, Vic.) and Andrew Wilkie (IND, Tas.)

Debates

HoR: introduced 12/9/16; 2R Bandt 12/9/16, debate adjourned 21/11/16

Votes

 

Result

 

 

Freedom to Marry Bill 2016

Year

2016

Status

Current

Government
Prime Minister

Coalition
Malcolm Turnbull

Parties with a conscience vote

ALP

Bill type

Private senator

Description

The Bill seeks to amend the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) to: define marriage as a union of two people; clarify that authorised celebrants are not bound to solemnise marriage; remove the prohibition of the recognition of same-sex marriages solemnised in a foreign country; and make consequential amendments to the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth). The Bill also includes a regulation making power so that consequential amendments can be made to other Acts.

Bill homepage

Sponsor

David Leyonhjelm (LDP, NSW)

Debates

Senate: introduced 13/9/16; 2R Leyonhjelm, debate adjourned 13/9/16

Votes

 

Result

 

 

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