In several nations that allow gay marriage, including Portugal, Spain, Norway and South Africa, a person must produce a so-called Certificate of No Impediment, which proves that they are at least 18 years old, not already married and that there is no other barrier to the marriage. Attorney-General Nicola Roxon will today announce that from February 1, same-sex couples will be able to apply for the certificates.
”This important change will allow same-sex couples to take part in overseas marriage ceremonies, and be considered married according to the laws of that country,” Ms Roxon said.
The announcement follows a change of Labor Party policy on the issue at its national conference in December.
Same-sex marriages conducted overseas are not recognised as marriages in Australia, but may be evidence of a de facto relationship for the purposes of federal and state laws.
Australian Marriage Equality convener Alex Greenwich welcomed the news. ”The removal of this mean-spirited policy is an important victory for same-sex couples and supporters of marriage equality,” he said.