Tasmania to Recognize Some Foreign Same-Sex Partnerships and Marriages

As of April 1, Tasmania will begin to recognize some foreign same-sex marriages, civil partnerships and domestic partnerships. At first this change will only cover partnerships enacted in a select number of countries and territories, but it will be broadened over time.

From UK Gay News:

An amendment to the Relationships Act, passed in September last year, allows the Tasmanian Government to automatically recognise interstate civil partnerships and overseas civil partnerships and same-sex marriages after each scheme has been through an assessment process.

From tomorrow, civil partnerships from Victoria, New South Wales, the ACT (Australian Capital Territory), New Zealand and the UK will be recognised in Tasmania, along with civil partnerships and same-sex marriages from all thirteen Canadian provinces.

Partnerships and marriages from other jurisdictions are currently being assessed.


Under the new law, interstate unions and overseas marriages will automatically be recognised as Tasmanian Deeds of Relationship giving partners in these relationships the same rights and responsibilities as married partners in state and federal law.

Tasmania will be the first Australian state or territory to recognize foreign same-sex marriages. The Australian Federal Government does not grant such recognition and remains opposed to domestic legislation legalizing same-sex marriage. 

The Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania and Victoria currently recognize civil unions. The federal government recognizes those unions for the purposes of federal entitlements, but coverage is limited.

Tasmania remains ahead of the curve in pursuit of marriage equality, with a 2010 national survey showing that residents display a higher level of support than the national average.

April 1 is significant for marriage equality the world over as, on this date in 2001, the Netherlands saw the modern world’s first legally recognized same-sex marriages performed. The first lesbian couple to marry will be celebrating their 10-year anniversary by raising awareness for the marriage equality cause. Click here for more information.

Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to Jeff Belmonte.


Norma V.
Norma Villarreal6 years ago

Tasmanians are recognizing the diversity in human beings. Way to go!

Mikaila H.
Mikaila H6 years ago

It's a good step in the right direction

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin6 years ago

Good on you, Tasmania! Thanks for the info and I'm hoping the rest of the Down Under will follow in the foot steps of Tasmania.

Steve A.
Steve A6 years ago

Tasmanians are fortunate to live in a progressive State. Those who live in the Australian Capital Territory don't have the same advantage. A few years ago a law was passed there legalising same sex marriage.

But because it’s a Territory and not a State, a Federal Government minister has the power to repeal the law. And he did.

After all, as everyone knows gay marriage will mean the end of civilisation.

A bill has been introduced that removes the power of that single minister to overturn Territory laws and place it in the hands of the Federal parliament. In other words every member and senator would vote on the validity of a law rather than the whim of a single minister.

But of course that bill will mean the end of civilisation too.

Frances N.
Frances Niquet6 years ago

That's excellent Tasmania, if only the rest of the country would follow your lead. It is after all a "free country" isn't it!!!

Tricia Hamilton
Tricia Hamilton6 years ago

Hey People, it is 2011, We have the right to have sex and marry anyone we want to in life. What is wrong with you? Aids is already out there. There is no turning back. These people have the right to marry anyone they want.

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L6 years ago

Noted and thank you.

Robert O.
Robert O6 years ago

Good for them! :)

Bon L.
Bon L6 years ago

Thanks for the info.

K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.