Gay Marriage Australia – Will Gay Divorce Happen Sooner?

Posted on Mon 12/11/2017 by

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By Anton Lang ~

Oh, the bitter irony!

It seems that here in Australia, there may be a same sex divorce before any same sex marriages can be formalised.

Recently, here in Australia, the Same Sex Marriage debate was resolved when after a public vote, Australians voted to legalise same sex marriages, by a margin of 62% to 38%.

So, here’s the timeline for what happened next.

In the week following the announcement of the result of the vote, a Private Members Bill was introduced into the Australian Senate, and Senators debated the matter for five days, mainly to either approve or disapprove of any amendments to be added to this Bill. All of those amendments were rejected, and the Bill passed  unchanged through The Senate by a large margin in the final vote, almost unanimous in fact.

The following week, this same Bill was then sent to the House Of Representatives for the same debate and vote. Again, the debate was more along the lines of introducing amendments to strengthen Religious Freedoms, freedom of speech, and the rights of parents. Again, all those many amendments were rejected, and the Bill passed unchanged through The House, again, almost unanimously with only 4 members voting against it, and ten members abstaining from the vote.

This made the Bill almost the new Law of Australia, and it then went to the Governor General of Australia for the final signature, and after he signed, this now became the law of the land, and any gay couple could now legally marry.

Now, it’s not a matter of just going out immediately and getting married, just like that, and that’s the same for all couples who wish to marry, either heterosexual male female marriages or any same sex marriage.

All the preparations need to be made, registering, and then gaining the requisite approvals and checks. That all takes around four weeks. It has been reported that the first same sex marriages will take place towards the middle of January next year, four weeks away from now.

So, for the next couple of days, same sex couples lined up in long lines outside registry offices all over the Country to register their intent to marry, sometimes in their hundreds.

Clothing is all sorted out, marriage celebrants or ministers lined up, wedding venues organised, receptions organised, every little detail which needs to be sorted out has now begun in earnest across the Country.

At the same time as this became the law of Australia, every gay couple in Australia who are already married had that marriage immediately recognised as legal here in Australia, and those marriages could only have been carried out in a foreign Country where same sex marriage is already the law.

So, everything goes according to plan.

Then, just yesterday, this story made it into the news media.

Perth couple poised to become first in Australia to file for same-sex divorce

On the day following the Governor General’s signature making this the law of Australia, lawyers in Perth lodged documents on behalf of a woman in Perth who is seeking a divorce from her former lesbian wife.

This long term gay couple were married in 2015.

What they did is this. They could not legally marry in Australia, so they went to the Embassy Consulate here in Australia of a European Country where gay marriage is legal, and they underwent a full legally constituted marriage ceremony, making them wife and wife. Now, the relationship has broken down completely, and one of the two women wants to move on with her life, something she cannot do, because she is legally married. They could not divorce, because, unlike the ceremony carried out in the Embassy Consulate, they must be residents of that European Country to be able to avail themselves of the law in that Country, where they can legally divorce, something they could not do as residents of Australia, as Australian citizens.

So, the very minute that the Governor General of Australia signed the Bil into Law, their marriage was now recognised here in Australia, and that being the case, they could now legally divorce here in Australia, under Australian law.

The woman who has engaged the legal firm for this matter says that being stuck in a marriage she did not want to be in had caused her a great deal of angst, and it’s been about not being able to move on with her life, to be able to tidy up the end of something, and to be able to start fresh somewhere else.

The irony here is that the lawyers say that it might be finalised early in the New Year, so it seems that this gay divorce might actually happen before the first gay marriage can even be carried out.

A civil celebrant was also interviewed as part of this story as well, and he has already officiated at a number of same sex civil unions, different from a full marriage ceremony, and he said the following:

“I am hopeful that divorce rates between same-sex couples will be lower than they are for their heterosexual counterparts. I think that gay couples would probably take their wedding or marriage a lot more seriously because they had to fight so hard to get it.”

It would seem that in a similar manner that this is thought to be beneficial for gay couples, it is also going to be beneficial for the legal fraternity as well.

Anton Lang uses the screen name of TonyfromOz, and he writes at this site, PA Pundits International on topics related to electrical power generation, from all sources, concentrating mainly on Renewable Power, and how the two most favoured methods of renewable power generation, Wind Power and all versions of Solar Power, fail comprehensively to deliver levels of power required to replace traditional power generation. His Bio is at this link.