Date: 
Thursday 18 April 2013

The Commission has welcomed the steps taken in New Zealand to achieve marriage equality for all couples.

Commission President, Gillian Triggs, said “this momentous step” by the New Zealand parliament, which affords same sex couples the right to marry, “was a cause for celebration.”

“At the Commission, we hope the momentum will continue and Australia will soon offer marriage equality to all couples as well,” Professor Triggs said.

“We consider that the fundamental human rights principle of equality means that civil marriage should be available, without discrimination, to all couples, regardless of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The Commission remains concerned that Australian law still discriminates against gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.

“While the federal Parliament’s 2008 amendments to Commonwealth legislation removed discrimination against same sex couples and their children in relation to financial and work-related entitlements and benefits, the Marriage Act continues to discriminate against same-sex couples by explicitly excluding them from the opportunity to have their relationship formally recognised under federal law,” Professor Triggs said.

The Commission's position paper on marriage equality is available here