In light of the 2022 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi-Gras festivities currently underway, we wanted to shed light on the progress made regarding same-sex marriage in Australia since its legal inception on the 9th of December 2017.
Same-sex marriage was legalised through the enactment of the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 (Cwlth), becoming the 26th country to legalise same-sex marriage.
According to the latest release from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the proportion of marriages in Australia that were same-sex were 5.5%, 4.8% and 3.7%, in 2018, 2019 and 2020 respectively. Additionally, there have been more female same-sex marriages compared with males with females accounting for 61.4% of all same-sex marriages.
Though the Australian Bureau of Statistics does not publish tailored same-sex divorce statistics, in 2020, there were 49,510 same-sex and heterosexual divorces granted in Australia, a 1.9% increase from 2019. Same-sex couples that do apply for divorce must follow the same process as heterosexual couples such as in order to file for a divorce, both partners must be separated for at least 12 months with at least one party filing for a divorce. In regard to a property settlement, one party can file an application at any time up to 12 months after the divorce has been finalised.
Correspondingly, the median duration of marriage has been relatively stable with 8.4 years to separation in 2020, compared with 8.2 years in 2000, and 12.1 years to divorce in 2020, compared with 11.6 years in 2000.
At Kydon Segal Lawyers, we fully support equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community such as same-sex marriages and wish you all a celebratory 2022 Mardi-Gras!