Jump to content
The Talon House

Australia Blocks Gays From Marrying Abroad


Recommended Posts

Australia Blocks Gays From Marrying Abroad

by Peter Hacker, 365Gay.com Sydney, Australia Bureau

Posted: January 15, 2006 - 12:01 am ET

(Sydney, Australia) The Australian government of Prime Minister John Howard has moved to prevent same-sex couples from marrying in countries that recognize gay unions.

The government has instructed its embassies in Canada and in Europe to refuse to provide certificates to people they believe are gay stating that the individuals are single.

Some countries require proof from foreign nationals that people seeking to wed are not already married.

The government began sending out notices to its embassies last year, shortly after Howard's Liberal government passed legislation last year defining marriage as between a man and a woman. (story)

The notices were signed by Attorney-General Philip Ruddock.

"This is a low act by Philip Ruddock and damages Australia's reputation among the international community", Peter Furness, National Convenor of Australian Marriage Equality said on Saturday.

It is not known how many couples have been prevented from marrying abroad, but one couple is speaking out.

Peter Kacukska, from Melbourne, who lives with his partner in Vienna, sought a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage (CNI) certificate last year. The document is required by Dutch authorities confirming that he was not married.

The Austrian Embassy refused to provide the document citing the Attorney-General's notice. Kacukska, an actor, said the embassy staff knew he is gay.

The Netherlands ultimately accepted a copy of the notice plus a notarized affidavit from Kakucska as proof he was single.

The couple were married in November.

"There is no legal requirement preventing the issuance of a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage", said Furness.

"Decent Australians will be appalled by this latest act of meanness and pettiness."

Furness said Marriage Equality is considering legal action against the government.

Although a copy of the directive was sent to the Australian High Commission in Canada, that country does not require CNI documents although marriage licenses ask marital status.

When asked last month if his government ever would consider same-sex marriage or civil partnerships Howard said: "never". (story) The question arose following Elton John's civil partnership to David Furnish in England the same week.

©365Gay.com 2006


Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...