Lyn Griggs, Ainslie. Click for more photos

ACT Legislative Assembly debates same sex marriage bill

Lyn Griggs, Ainslie. Photo: Rohan Thomson

Q: What's the earliest date my same-sex partner and I could get married under the new law?

A: The law is expected to become operational within the next fortnight. Couples must give at a least one month’s notice of their intention to marry. The Government says that weddings could take place as early as December.

Q: My partner and I live interstate, can we still get married in the ACT?

A: Yes. But the marriage may not be recognised in your home state or territory.

Q: What’s the process for getting married?

A: The ACT Government has published a fact sheet on the Office of Regulatory Services website outlining the process, including fees and requirements.

Couples must lodge a "Notice of Intention to Marry" with an authorised celebrant no more than 18 months but at least one month before the planned ceremony.

Both people must provide proof of identity to the celebrant and will receive a notice about the nature and effect of marriage in the ACT.

Q: Who can officiate over a same-sex marriage?

A: Celebrants registered with the ACT Registrar-General. Several celebrants are expected to seek registration in the coming weeks.

Q: My partner and I would like to get married on the beach. Can we get married in Jervis Bay?

A: Maybe. Although Jervis Bay is part of the ACT, the Federal Government could decide not to make the same-sex marriage law operational in the ACT’s coastal enclave.

Q: What about the Federal Government’s plan to challenge the same-sex marriage law in the High Court?  

A: If you’re planning to get married soon, you should be aware that if a subsequent court challenge is successful, your marriage may no longer be legally valid.

Q: How much will it cost for same-sex couples of marry?

A: Fees outlined by the ACT government add up to more than $500, with a commemorative package, marriage certificate, applications and notice of intention to marry.

Q: What if a same-sex marriage breaks down?

A: The same mechanisms for existing marriages apply. Same-sex marriages will be terminated either by the death of either party or by a court order.

Q: Where can I find documents to register for a same-sex marriage?

A: The ACT government had published forms at www.ors.act.gov.au

What other questions need to be answered? Let us know in the comments