Australia capital region abandons plan to recognize same-sex civil union ceremonies

Australia capital region abandons plan to recognize same-sex civil union ceremonies

[JURIST] The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) [official website] Sunday abandoned a proposal to legally recognize same-sex civil union ceremonies after the Australian federal government threatened to veto Civil Partnerships Bill 2006 [legislative materials; PDF text] if it passed the ACT Legislative Assembly [official websites]. ACT Attorney General Simon Corbell said that the self-governing territory will now move to legalize civil partnerships without ceremony [press release] so that same-sex couples can have access to Commonwealth pensions, tax and social security benefits. Corbell criticized the federal government for resorting "to the use of an undemocratic nineteenth century colonial style power to override" the proposal. The Civil Partnerships Bill was introduced after an earlier civil unions law [legislative materials] was actually overturned by the federal government [JURIST report] because that law's attempt to equate civil unions with marriage was determined to be unacceptable.

In April, the Australian federal government now led by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced plans to amend over 100 federal laws [press release; JURIST report] to remove discrimination against same-sex couples [JURIST news archive]. The proposed legislation, which is expected to be implemented by mid-2009, will not recognize same-sex marriages. The Daily Telegraph as more.