Gay and marriage rights in Australia: A timeline

Sat, November 25, 2017
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Gay and marriage rights in Australia: A timeline
Published : 15 Nov 2017, 11:07:52
Gay and marriage rights in Australia: A timeline
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Australians have voted overwhelmingly in favour of same-sex marriage, in a historic nationwide survey that will now go to parliament to give it the force of law. 
 
Nearly 80 percent of eligible voters took part in the two-month postal survey, with 61.6 percent of respondents saying "yes" to gay unions, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday. 
 
Here is a timeline of key moments in marriage rights in Australia. 
 
1961: Australia introduces its first Marriage Act, but it does not include a formal definition of marriage 
 
1975: South Australia becomes the first state to decriminalise male homosexuality 
 
1976-1997: Other states and territories decriminalise male homosexuality 
 
2004: The Marriage Act is amended to add the definition that "marriage means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others" 
 
2009: De facto couples are given similar rights to those who are married 
 
2013: Federal Labor government makes it unlawful to discriminate against LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bi, trans, intersex, queer) people 
 
2015: Conservative coalition government commits to a national plebiscite proposal on same-sex marriage 
 
November, 2016: Upper house Senate rebuffs the government's plans for a national plebiscite on gay unions 
 
August, 2017: Senate knocks backs national plebiscite proposal again, government pushes ahead with a national voluntary postal vote 
 
September, 2017: Ballot papers for the postal vote are sent out 
 
November 15, 2017: Some 61.6 percent of eligible Australians vote in favour of changing the law to allow same-sex couples to marry-AFP
 
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