Overview: The recent result of the Irish referendum and the decision of the United States Supreme Court in favour of same-sex marriage has given the Australian campaign for marriage equality new momentum. The most recent same-sex marriage bill was introduced in early June 2015 and is now one of four bills on the subject before the federal Parliament. To date, approximately 21 countries allow same-sex marriage (including the United States but excluding Ireland where legislation is still to be enacted).
Since the 2004 amendment to the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) which inserted the current definition of marriage, 16 bills dealing with marriage equality or the recognition of overseas same-sex marriages have been introduced into the federal Parliament. Not all bills have come to a vote and no bill has progressed past the second reading stage. Consequently no bill has been debated by the second chamber. To date, the bills have been introduced by members of parliament representing the Australian Democrats, the Australian Greens and the Australian Labor Party.
This Quick Guide provides a chronological list of bills relating to marriage equality introduced into the federal parliament.