Victoria’s Relationships Amendment Bill will allow same-sex couples married overseas to register their relationship.

Same-sex couples living in Victoria will now have the opportunity to have their overseas marriages given legal recognition.

The Relationships Amendment Bill will now recognise civil unions and same-sex marriages performed overseas as registered relationships.

Although same-sex marriage is not legal in Australia, many of Australia’s states have created relationships registers to allow same-sex couples to formalise relationships in the case of legal purposes.

The Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (VGLRL) welcomed this reform. VGLRL co-convenor Sean Mulcahy said, “The passage of this bill will ensure Victorian couples who have traveled overseas to marry or enter a civil partnership will be legally recognised and protected under Victorian laws.”

He added that, “These reforms are a great step forward to provide practical legal protections for LGBTI couples. The bill will remove the requirement that both of the couple live together in victoria for 12 months, which recognises that some couples due to work or family commitments don’t both live in the same location for extended periods of time.”

The VGLRL hope that Victoria will soon join other areas of Australia and legalise civil partnerships.

Mulcahy said, “When marriage equality is achieved in Australia, there will still be couples who may choose not to be married for a range of reasons.” 

Victoria joins New South Wales, Queensland, and Tasmania in recognising overseas same-sex marriages. This means that a majority of Australian states now legally acknowledge and recognise same-sex marriages to some degree.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull still plans to hold a national plebiscite on same-sex marriage.