While gay activists hold their breath over moves in the Australian Capital Territory to include ceremonial aspects in the territory’s civil union scheme, Tasmanian couples will soon be able to register their relationship during a ceremony.
The Tasmanian Registry of Birth, Deaths and Marriages has confirmed a change in procedure in the state’s Deed of Relationships scheme will give same-sex couples — along with opposite-sex couples — the option to legally sign a relationship certificate during a ceremony in the presence of a celebrant. The change takes effect from November 1.
The Registry office will provide new ‘decorative’ certificates especially for the occasion and can now backdate the official date to the ceremony day.
The change does not enhance the powers of civil celebrants to declare a legal relationship for same-sex couples during a ceremony. Certificates must be lodged with the Registry.
Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesman Rodney Croome said he welcomed the change.
“This provides same-sex and other couples with a way to have that ‘special day’, on which they officially declare and affirm their relationship in front of friends and family members,” Croome said.
A Registry spokeswoman told Sydney Star Observer demand from couples wanting certificates to mark their relationship on the ceremony day had pushed the change.
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