Marriage equality finally in Australia

What a year for marriage equality in Australia!

I'm so very happy that marriage is now legal for all in Australia - finally!!!  I mean how ridiculous we had to go to through all that for something that should have just been in place. Love is love and anyone should be able to choose who they marry. And now they can!

So what does it mean in terms of changes to marriage ceremonies?

There is now a new Notice of Intended Marriage Form and the new legal definition of marriage must be said during the wedding ceremony.  Notice of intended marriage forms completed by a couple who are a man and a woman before 9 December 2017, remain valid and do not need to be redone.

Up until 9th December 2017 to make any marriage legal in Australia only a man and a woman could marry. There were words that a Celebrant had to say to make the marriage legal:

'Marriage according to the law in Australia is the union of a man to a woman, to the exclusion of all others voluntarily entered into for life.'

After Australia voted YES in the postal vote to legalise same sex marriages, the Australian parliament voted to amend the Marriage Act.

From December 9th, 2017, sex or gender no longer affects the right to marry under Australian law and same-sex marriage is now legal in Australia.

The Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 commences on 9 December 2017. This Act amends the Marriage Act 1961 to redefine marriage as 'the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life'.

This new definition of marriage according to the law in Australia now means that we now have equal rights for marriage in Australia, something that is well overdue but I'm so happy it's now finally in place and everyone can more forward.

From 9 December 2017, all marriage celebrants, including religious marriage celebrants, will be required to state the new legal definition of marriage as part of a marriage ceremony.

The conditions for a valid marriage havn't changed. A couple must wait at least one month to marry after giving an authorised celebrant a completed Notice of Intended Marriage form under Australian law. In some circumstances, a couple can seek permission to marry before the one month period (from a prescribed authority).  Due to the above, any couples who registered their Notice of Intended Marriage form with a registered celebrant on 9th December would see them getting married from 9th January 2018, however some same sex couples did seek authority to shorten their notice period and the first same sex couples were married in Australia 16th December, 2017, one week after the new Marriage Act was in place.

A wonderful way to end 2017.  Merry Christmas to all and safe holidays ♥

Love, Trudy the Celebrant xx