A civil unions bill which allows for celebrants and legally binding ceremonies for same-sex couples has passed the ACT Legislative Assembly overnight.

The Greens voted for the bill despite having previously been unwilling to support it for fear it would undermine the campaign for federally recognised same-sex marriage.

The ACT had previously enacted civil union legislation in 2006, but it was overturned by the Howard government that same year.

ACT deputy chief minister Andrew Barr told the Star Observer last week that the government wanted Canberra to be the most LGBTI friendly city in Australia, and still supported changes to federal marriage laws.

“We support amendments to the Federal Marriage Act to ensure equal access to marriage under statute for all adult couples irrespective of sex who have a mutual commitment to a shared life,” he said.

“We support state and territory same-sex marriage legislation… if the federal Parliament fails to legislate, we will examine what happens in Tasmania and be open to introducing at a similar change to the law in the ACT.”

Barr said he would advocate for the law to allow non-ACT residents to be able to marry there.

“I think the Tasmanian premier has a legitimate point in relation to the economic opportunities from marriage equality. It is certainly something I will pursue,” he said.

The Liberals voted against the civil unions bill.

© Star Observer 2022 | For the latest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, be sure to visit starobserver.com.au daily. You can also read our latest magazines or Join us on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.