Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]
by Rex Wockner
In a first, the next Australian census will count same-sex couples who have gotten married abroad. “Census night” is Aug. 9.
“It is an important sign of respect that the Australian Bureau of Statistics will allow same-sex partners to indicate if they are married on the census,” said Australian Marriage Equality spokesman Peter Furness. “It also highlights how nonsensical the federal government’s failure to recognize same-sex marriage has become. We urge all same-sex partners who want to indicate they are married to take advantage of the fact that now they can.”
Same-sex marriage is not allowed in Australia and Australian same-sex couples can’t even get married in all countries where it is allowed because the Australian government refuses to issue them the “certificate of non-impediment to marriage” that some nations require of foreign couples.
Nonetheless, thousands of same-sex couples have managed to get married overseas. Many marry in Canada, which does not require a non-impediment certificate, AME said, while other couples acquired a certificate from their state government rather than the federal government.
“Only some places that allow same-sex marriages require the documents that the Australian government doesn’t issue,” said AME’s Rodney Croome.
Nations that have accepted a non-impediment document issued by one of Australia’s state governments include South Africa, the Netherlands and Portugal, Croome said.
The new census figures collected Aug. 9 will be made public next July.
“ABS will provide the government with a baseline figure for the number of couples they are discriminating against on July 12, 2012, which is expected to be a key time in the marriage-equality debate,” said Furness, who got married in Canada in 2006.
Same-sex marriage is legal in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and Mexico (where same-sex marriages are allowed only in the capital city but are recognized nationwide). It also is legal in six U.S. states – Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont – and Washington, D.C.