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Same-sex marriage (SSM) and civil unions


In Australia, with a brief mention
of surrounding islands in Oceania

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Throughout this web site, "SSM" refers to same-sex marriage, and "LGBT"
refers to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and transsexual community.

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2013-JUN: Current status in Australia, New Zealand, and the rest of Oceania:

Countries in the Pacific Ocean include some relatively large land masses -- like Australia, the Hawaii Islands (U.S.), New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, The Philippines, and Solomon Islands -- as well as many smaller islands and collections of tiny islands such as the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, the Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, etc.

Like other areas of the world, the laws regarding same-gender sexual activity and same-sex marriage differ greatly among political jurisdictions:

How different political jurisdictions in
Oceania recognize same-sex relationships:

Status of same-sex relationships in Oceania 1,2

Same-sex marriage became legal on:

  • 2013-MAY-18: French Polynesia, New Caledonia, and Wallis & Futuna, due to their political connection with France. The law became effective on MAY-29.

  • 2013-APR-17, in New Zealand due to a law passed in their Parliament, which came into effect on 2013-AUG-19.

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In Australia, including the its territories of Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and Norfolk Island, cohabitation of the relationships of same-sex couples have been recognized since 2009 without registration. Same-sex couples have been able to register their relationship in the eastern parts of Australia, where the bulk of the Australian population resides. This includes the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, and Victoria

In various other areas of Oceania, as indicated above:

  • Same-sex couples are recognized by the government only as roommates, or

  • Same-gender sexual behavior is illegal and can be prosecuted. It can bring a 14 year jail sentence in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, or

  • Male-male sexual behavior is illegal and can bring up to 14 years in Jail, sometimes with corporal punishment. Female-female sexual behavior is legal. 1

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Topics covered in this section:

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "LGBT rights in Oceania," Wikipedia, as on 2013-APR-20, at:
  2. The large graphic is copied from Wikipedia. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 License. You are free to share and make derivative works of the file under the conditions that you appropriately attribute it, and that you distribute it only under a license identical to this one. See: Official license. Image updated from Wikipedia periodically.

Site navigation:

Home > Religious info. > Basic > Marriage > Same-sex marriage > SSM menu > here

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality> Same-sex marriage> SSM menu > here

Copyright © 2009 to 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2009-MAY
Latest update: 2015-SEP-14
Partly written by: B.A. Robinson

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