Hundreds of Australian same-sex couples travel overseas every year to marry because they can't marry in Australia. But when they return home their marriages aren't recognised and their solemn vows of lifelong commitment count for nothing.
According to the latest Census at least 1300 Australian same-sex couples have been forced overseas to marry. The number of Australian "marriage refugees" will increase dramatically when same-sex marriages begin in New Zealand and Britain later this year.
But Australian law explicitly bans the recognition of these marriages which is disrespectful to the couples involved and the countries they have married in.
Earlier this year the Australian Government revoked its ban on issuing same-sex couples with the documents they needed to marry overseas. Now it's time to revoke the ban on legally recognising these marriages.
Fourteen countries currently allow Australians to enter same-sex marriages. Several, including Japan and Israel, already recognise foreign same-sex marriages even they don't perform such marriages themselves.
Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has introduced a Bill to lift this ban. This is the Australian Parliament's final chance before the election to represent the majority of Australians who support marriage equality and to show the world that Australia has a heart.
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