Last Updated 11 April 2017
Civil Partnerships (Previously Known as Registered Relationships)
Property Entitlements of Same-sex Couples
Estate Planning for Same-sex Couples
Superannuation Entitlements for Same-sex Couples
Surrogacy Laws Applicable to Same-sex Couples
Adoption Laws Applicable to Same-sex Couples
The changing face of relationships in contemporary society and the continuing expansion of human rights laws in the last decade have brought about several legislative attempts to provide greater parity to establish and set up a framework for the future development of the law in relation to same-sex relationships.
The Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws – General Law Reform) Act 2008 (Cth) removed discrimination against same-sex de facto couples and their families in areas such as taxation, superannuation, social security and family assistance, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Safety Net and the Medicare Safety Net, aged care, veterans’ entitlements, immigration, citizenship, child support and family law. Social security and family assistance legislation recognises all couples regardless the gender of a partner, and same-sex couples receive the same entitlements, are assessed in the same way and have the same obligations as opposite-sex couples.
Amendments to laws including the Australian Federal Police Act 1979 (Cth), the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth), the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) and the Witness Protection Act 1994 (Cth) means a significant move towards addressing a previous failure to properly recognise the rights of parties to a same-sex relationship.