The lower house of the Tasmanian Parliament [official website] on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the Relationships Act of 2003 [text], recognizing same-sex marriages [JURIST news archive] and civil unions registered in foreign countries and other Australian states. The amendment was aimed at ending discrimination against same-sex couples and was supported by all but three representatives [ABC report] of the 25-member house. Tasmanian Attorney-General Lara Giddings [official profile] praised the amendment's passage, calling it a small but important step for same-sex couples who want to transfer their foreign marriage license to Tasmania.
Several countries have recently addressed the issue of recognition and legalization of same-sex marriage. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of Mexico [official website, in Spanish] ruled 9-2 that same-sex marriages performed in Mexico City must be recognized nationwide [JURIST report]. Additionally, a US federal judge ruled that the California state ban on same-sex marriage violates the US Constitution [JURIST report]. Last month, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez [official website, in Spanish] signed a same-sex marriage bill into law after the bill was approved by the legislature [JURIST reports], making Argentina the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. Same-sex marriage is currently recognized in several US jurisdictions, and nationwide in Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and South Africa [JURIST reports].