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From November 12, 2014 NSW same-sex couples married overseas can have their marital status recognised by the NSW Relationships Register.

While same-sex marriage is yet to be legalised by Australia’s federal government, same-sex couples do receive otherwise equal treatment as married and de facto heterosexual couples when it comes to the law.

This has been the case since the Australian Human Rights Commission’s report Same-Sex: Same Entitlements 2008 and the subsequent amendments to 85 Commonwealth laws found to be discriminating against same-sex couples and their children.

Under the Same-Sex Relationships Bill 2008, the word “spouse” includes:

  • A same-sex partner that one is in a relationship with that is registered under a certain state or territory law.
  • A same-sex partner who, although not legally married, lives in a genuine domestic basis in a relationship (a de-facto couple).

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