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.