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Show your support at our Melbourne fundraiser “Tipping Point”.

With only 25 more Federal MPs needed to make marriage equality a reality, this is a critical time to support Australian Marriage Equality’s efforts to win those final votes. Show your support at our Melbourne fundraiser “Tipping Point”.

Liberal Councillor Christine Forster, Aussie Rules Footballer Jason Ball, AFL Footballer Sam Gilbert and Madga Szubanski will be among the many high profile guests at this inspirational evening of celebration.

Enjoy the Town Hall’s hospitality with fine wines and beers, delicious canapés, a special performance by Rachel Dunham from her sell out show “Oprahfication” and all the fun of a fabulous live auction, featuring a range of unique items and experiences. Buy tickets here.

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Norfolk Island Considers Marriage Equality

THE gay descendent of the mutineer Fletcher Christian says he’s excited he may soon be able to wed his partner, as one of Australia’s smallest territories pushes forward with plans to make same-sex marriage legal.

REBELLION is once again in the air on Norfolk Island, as the self-governing territory of 2000 people half way between Australia and New Zealand prepares to vote on the law in the coming weeks.

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Media Release: Norfolk Island Takes Lead On Marriage Equality

UPDATE ON NORFOLK ISLAND SAME-SEX MARRIAGE BILL

A bill allowing same-sex couples to marry was tabled in the Norfolk Island Assembly at about 3pm local time (1.30pm Sydney time) this afternoon by MLA, Hayden Evans.

The Bill is likely to be debated at the next sitting of the Norfolk Island Assembly starting on October 15th.

A copy of Mr Evans speech is attached.

A copy of the media release sent earlier today about the bill, with key contacts for media interviews, is below.

  • Draft same-sex marriage legislation tabled in Norfolk Island parliament
  • Australian same-sex couples would be able to marry in their own country
  • Gay Norfolk Islander “proud and excited” at chance to wed
  • Norfolk to benefit by up to $12 million per year
  • NI Bill drafted to avoid problems that sank ACT law

Australia’s smallest territory is taking on one of the nation’s biggest issues with Norfolk Island set to allow same-sex couples to marry. <!–more–>

At 10.30am today Sydney time, Norfolk Island Assembly member, Hayden Evans, will table a draft Bill that will allow same-sex couples from across Australia to marry in their own country rather than travelling to foreign countries, and will boost the Island’s economy by many millions of dollars.

Mr Evans said,

“Over the years, gay and lesbian Norfolk Islanders have made a really important contribution to our community and I want to recognise this by giving them equality and dignity in return.”

“That’s why I am tabling a draft Bill to allow same-sex couples to commit to each other through marriage and have the same rights and recognition heterosexual couples have.”

“If the bill becomes law it will showcase to the world that Norfolk Island is an accepting and supportive community where everyone is valued.”

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, is on Norfolk Island to brief Assembly members and start a community consultation about the benefits of the bill.

“Norfolk island is doing what the overwhelming majority of Australians want – allowing Australian same-sex couples to marry the person they love in the country they love.”

“This Bill has been drafted to withstand the constitutional problems that sank last year’s ACT’s Marriage Equality Act and, should it pass, I urge the federal government to let it stand.”

“But if the federal government has outstanding constitutional concerns these should be aired in the High Court.”

Cam Christian, a gay Norfolk Islander living in Brisbane and a descendent of Bounty mutineer, Fletcher Christian, said he is excited and proud that he may soon be able to marry his fiance on his island home.

“I’m just so proud that Norfolk is leading the way on an issue that matters to so many people”, he said.

“When my partner, Paul, and I got engaged we planned to have a commitment ceremony on the Island, but the chance to be married in front of family and friends is just so important and affirming for us.”

Cam’s partner, Paul Gilmour, said,

“As an Australian citizen the idea of marrying my partner legally in front of our beautiful and supportive family and friends is exciting. This is a step in the right direction for not only people like ourselves but future generations”

Andre Nobbs, Chief Executive Officer for Oceania Economic Development Corporation and a former Norfolk Island Chief Minister said,

“Marriage equality is about fairness for everyone, and it will also bring a much-needed destination profile, and economic and jobs stimulus to Norfolk Island.”

“Over the previous 12 months 240 Australian same-sex couples have married in New Zealand, and if the same number marry on Norfolk the wedding spend alone will be $12 million.”

“On top of this will be expenditure by guests, and the invaluable global exposure the Island will get for doing the right thing.”

The Norfolk Island Same-Sex Bill has been drafted to avoid the pitfalls that saw the ACT’s Marriage Equality Act struck down by the High Court last year.

It creates a distinct legal status of same-sex marriage and does not impinge on the federal Marriage Act at any point.

Norfolk Island is a self-governing Australian territory of 2000 people that lies half way between Australia and New Zealand. It has its own history, language, identity and legal system. Many islanders are descended from the Bounty mutineers led by Fletcher Christian.

Mr Evan’s Bill will be debated next month. The federal government has the power to override Norfolk Island legislation in extraordinary circumstances.

A photo of Cam Christian and Paul Gilmour is attached (Cam is on the left).
A photo of Hayden Evans and Rodney Croome holding the Bill is attached (Hayden is on the left)
A fach sheet is also attached.

Media contacts currently on Norfolk Island (skype video interviews available):
Hayden Evans on +67 2351950
Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668
Andre Nobbs on +67 2350273.

For other media, including TV interviews:
Cam Christian in Brisbane on 0433 742 426 (after 3pm)
Ivan Hinton (AME deputy director) in Canberra on 0419 124 826

HaydenEvansspeech

Factsheet

Paul&Cam

NIBill

Author: Rodney Croome
Publication: Media Release
Date: 17th September 2014

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Where Do You Stand on Marriage Equality?

Where do you stand on gay marriage? How would you feel if your local MP stood up and said they thought it was a good idea? Would you like to see the Gold coast promoted as a destination for gay couples wanting to tie the knot? Members of Australian Marriage Equality.org is coming to the coast, to gauge community interest about changing federal laws that don’t allow gay marriage. Gold Coast lawyer Derek Cronin and former president of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gay Shelley Argent spoke with Nicole Dyer…

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Melbourne To Host Crucial Fundraising Cocktail Party For Marriage Equality

MELBOURNE-based supporters of marriage equality are being urged to help raise much needed funds for what could be the final stage of the campaign for same-sex marriage by attending a special cocktail fundraiser at Melbourne Town Hall next week.

Called Tipping Point, the event will benefit Australian Marriage Equality, the leading advocacy organisation for marriage equality in Australia.

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Neil Patrick Harris’s Italian Wedding!

After an eight-year engagement, actor Neil Patrick Harris married his partner David Burtka in Italy over the weekend, Harris announced via Twitter overnight.

Harris, 41, and Burtka, 39, have been together since 2004 and are proud parents to twins – a boy named Gideon Scott and a girl named Harper Grace – born via a surrogate in 2010.

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The 12 Best Quotes From the Past Year of Same-Sex Marriage Decisions

Since the US Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on same-sex marriages in June 2013, lower courts have ruled overwhelmingly in favor of same-sex couples’ right to marry.

The substance of these decisions have mostly relied on the same legal rationale as the Supreme Court: the Constitution’s Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses protect same-sex marriage rights.

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Evangelicals for Marriage Equality: The Story Behind Our Launch

Why we are starting an initiative for evangelicals to support civil marriage equality

I am an evangelical Christian and I believe that the Bible is God’s word. I also believe that LGBT men and women should enjoy the same right to civil marriage as any other couple. For many evangelicals, these statements are mutually exclusive. But they don’t have to be.

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Mexican State of Coahuila Approves Same-Sex Marriage

The northern state of Coahuila has become the second region in Mexico to officially allow same-sex marriage.

Coahuila’s congress approved changes to the civil code which give same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples, including adoption.

In Mexico, laws on same-sex unions fall under state legislation, and a number of them have divergent rules.

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The Marriage Equality Debate Is Over, And They Won

In late 2008, Chad Griffin was frustrated with the gay marriage movement. Activists had been toiling for years trying to legalize same-sex weddings by fighting for laws and initiatives state by state, yet even liberal California had just passed Proposition 8, defining marriage as between a man and a woman. The movement seemed to be going nowhere.

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Peter Sherlock:The Church Would Gain From State-Sanctioned Marriages, Gay or Straight

The SBS program Living with the Enemy broadcast on Wednesday 3 September has hit on recipe for success with its new series. Put a gay male couple in a house (well, a caravan) with a conservative male Anglican priest and watch the sparks fly. The formula works because it is generally assumed a representative of the church will be opposed to gay marriage and any kind of homosexual activity, and that a gay couple won’t have anything to do with religion.

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Glen Eira Council Sends Officers on Marriage Equality Fact Finding Mission

GLEN Eira Council has dipped its toes into the marriage equality debate and advocates are giving the move the thumbs up.

Councillors last night voted 6-2 in favour of gathering information on how other councils are advocating for marriage equality.

Officers have been asked to report back on Greater Geelong Council’s actions and what Glen Eira can learn from those.

Greater Geelong and Surf Coast Shire councils have voted to publicly support marriage equality and to advise parliamentarians and the Victorian and Commonwealth Equal Opportunity and Human Rights commissions of their decisions.