SAME-sex couples legally married under overseas laws shouldn’t have to “leave their marriages at the customs gate,” according to a new bill progressing through Federal Parliament.

The bill, which was introduced to the Senate last week by South Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, calls for the Marriage Act 1961 to be amended to allow for the official recognition of same-sex marriages legally performed under the jurisdiction of other nations.

With Labor support, the bill has now been sent to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee for further consideration.

Hanson-Young said the bill’s progress brought reform one step closer.

“With more and more countries passing marriage equality laws, Australia is becoming increasingly isolated in the international community,” she said.

“Recognising international same-sex marriages will mean that gay Australians who wed overseas won’t have to leave their marriages at the customs gate.”

The move comes just weeks before same-sex couples can legally start to wed at Britain’s consulates in Australia following the recent legalisation of gay marriage in England and Wales.

Australian Marriage Equality National Director Rodney Croome said many people would be “outraged” when couples legally wed under UK law are “unwed the moment they step outside the consulate and back onto Australian soil.”

Croome encouraged couples legally married overseas to tell their stories of the “hurt and harm” caused by not having their relationships recognised at home.

“We will also be encouraging researchers and decision-makers from countries with marriage equality to detail the positive impacts the reform has had, and to confirm that none of the dire predictions of marriage equality opponents have come to pass,” he said.

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