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Australia Sees First Same-Sex Marriages and Divorce

Australia has become the most recent country to allow same sex marriage, after its Senate and then House of Representatives passed the enabling legislation, reports the Daily Mail

Interestingly, however, in addition to allowing thousands of same sex couples to start planning their weddings, the new legislation also means that one couple who were already married will now be able to divorce.

The two Australian women had married in 2015 in a Consulate building in Perth. Although same sex marriage wasn’t legal in Australia at the time, the Consulate building belonged to a European country that did allow same sex marriage.

However, when their relationship fell apart they found it was not so easy to obtain a divorce. Because they didn’t live in the European country that legalised their marriage, they weren’t able to use that country’s laws to end their marriage. Equally, their marriage wasn’t legally recognised in Australia, and therefore they weren’t eligible to file for divorce there either.

Fortunately, their legal limbo has now come to an end. With the introduction of same sex marriage laws in Australia, the couple’s marriage is now legally recognised and they can therefore apply to have it legally brought to an end.

Same sex marriage has been possible in Scotland since December 2014, when provisions of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014 came into force. The first marriages took place on 31st December that year, after the required 14-day notice period had passed.

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