Register details not yet finalised

Register details not yet finalised

Couples may have to wait up to two months before they can register their relationship under new laws passed by the NSW Government.

Legislation to enact a relationships register passed both houses of Parliament last week. NSW now joins the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Tasmania on the list of jurisdictions offering formal recognition for same-sex couples.

The Labor Party-endorsed bill was passed 62-9 in the Lower House and 32-5 in the Upper House after two days of debate.


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Introducing the bill into the Upper House, NSW Attorney General John Hatzistergos said the reforms would create a formal mechanism to recognise all de facto relationships and ensure couples were able to access the full suite of their rights and entitlements under state and Commonwealth law.

“This reform respects the dignity of unmarried couples,” Hatzistergos said.

“It does this by creating a mechanism by which couples who register their relationship will, for the purposes of most NSW legislation, have access to rights and entitlements as de facto partners without having to establish each time that they are in a genuinely committed relationship.

“This will make the process of seeking access to entitlements and assert rights easier, and will provide a greater certainty of outcome.”

Although it does not create any new rights or offer any option to take part in a ceremony, the register may assist couples to qualify for tax and welfare benefits; will make it easier for same-sex couples applying for immigration visas; and will provide a proof of relationship to non-married couples.

The register will also recognise relationships registered in other jurisdictions.

When established, the register will be available to couples in which: both parties are over 18, at least one member resides in NSW, and neither is already registered or married elsewhere.

It will not be a requirement that couples live together, nor will they have to prove financial interdependence.

But couples eager to register must wait for the scheme to be set up by the Office of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

A spokeswoman for Hatzistergos said the scheme was expected to be up and running within months.

When established, couples will need to sign a statutory declaration declaring they fulfil all the criteria to register and provide proof of their identity.

After paying an as yet undetermined fee, there will be a 28-day cooling off period.

In the event that the relationship fails, either one or both parties can apply for the registration to be revoked.

A fact sheet outlining all requirements and processes for interested couples is being drafted by the Attorney General’s office, in conjunction with the Office of Births, Deaths and Marriages, and is expected to be released in days.

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17 responses to “Register details not yet finalised”

  1. So how will this be integrated with the City of Sydney “Register” that DOES include an official ceremony?
    Can you do the ceremony option with the City of Sydney, then have the NSW goverment “recognise it” & automatically qualify you for one of their certficates??????

  2. It is deeply offensive, Mike, to somehow equate the terrifying, fearful situation of Zimbabwe’s gay and lesbian community with same-sex partnership recognition register.

    And for the many same-sex military veterans now able to pass on benefits to surviving partners, Australia’s laws are not a “world embarrassment” as Amber believes.

    Sentiments like that perpetuate the notion of lesbians and gays victims – perpetually oppressed, hated and derided.

    We do need and must fight for ceremonial recognition – but same-sex couples have gained legal and financial equality – hardly an insult…maybe even something to get a little bit happy about?

  3. For those interested in when we can ‘register’ our relationships; this response from Nicole Azoury
    Senior Administration Officer
    Executive Unit
    NSW Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages
    GPO Box 30, Sydney NSW 2001
    T: 1300 655 236

    The NSW Parliament passed the Relationships Register Bill 2010 on 12 May 2010. The Bill establishes a relationship register for NSW and will be administered by the Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages. The Register will be up and running in the next few months once the Registry has finalised all administrative arrangements.

  4. This is a TOTAL embarrasment! WOW, now you can ‘register’ your ‘relationship’ in NSW?! such a major step forward for Australia! You have GOT to be kidding? The Australian Law SUCKS and is a total embarrasment to the world.
    It’s Marriage…………… or BUST people!
    Keep protesting…
    keep pushing the issue…….
    Dont be silent……
    Dont put up with a ‘register’ (which is an INSULT to same-sex relationships).
    We will only be equals – when we can marry.

  5. Robert Mugabe quoted that “homosexuals are worse than pigs and dogs” – now our relationships in NSW are registered and recognised just like pigs and dogs!!!!


  6. It is sad Greg Aplin let down people in Albury. He has set a bad example for others.

    My partner had to leave Albury due to homophobia at Health Albury Wodonga, as he dared talk about Same Sex Marriage in the local paper. The hospital was taken over by the Labor Catholic Mafia in my view. He was the only doctor working on getting a stroke unit for Albury Wodonga. Thankfully we are now in Gippsland where even the National Party Leader is supportive of us. Albury Wodonga still does not have a Stroke Unit.

    Greg Aplin or his wife Jill may not understand the first three hours of a stroke are critical. Maybe Greg Alpin will be in emergency with a stroke. Maybe as the darkness draws and the life leaves his weak body he can have a think about what could of been, and how he contributed to his own death. Discrimination cost the community greatly.

    My partner and I after 9years were the first to get on the Melbourne City Council Relationship Register. We hired a big boat and went up the Yarra having a celebration with family and friends. Our media coverage got Victoria to move as they at that time had nothing. Now they openly support Same Sex Marriage!

    The Register is a start. It will help protect us in legal disputes. It is a very basic recognition we exist. I just can’t wait for the day when I can say, “Greg Aplin, this is my husband, please show some respect!”.

  7. you guys arnt seeing the other side of this paper…
    i couldnt give a fuck about the “recognition” in the context that you guys are talking about… it’s the legal recognition that i’m interested in, i’m in a position where myself and my partner need the legal safeguards and protection granted with the rights that this register offers.
    If i have an accident and end up in hospital, they wouldnt let my partner in to see me because she’s not ‘family’.
    If i should pass away, my family can contest my will, because my partner and i werent in a legally recognised relationship.
    If we have a child, my name can be on the birth cert, and i will have the same parental rights as my partner does…
    without this register i have nothing to protect us from the examples i gave.

  8. Why any self-respecting gay person would want to enter into a ‘marriage’ – an ancient form of slavery, no matter how the straighties try to romanticise it nowadays – is beyond me. Shouldn’t we be happy that we’ve been provided an alternative by the government?
    We’re not the same as straight people: in general, our relationships are much more equal and much less set in outdated traditions and gender stereotypes than theirs are. Why are we fighting so hard to emulate a relationship model that fails so miserably for heteros, time after time?

  9. The decade of ignorance story is really interesting …. i seriously can’t believe people think the world will implode if two people who love each other formalise their relationship in a public manner.

    Oh that’s right, supposedly a book that nobody can prove to be true or accurate – and the rules from which are enforced by small-minded biggoted organisations that protect paedophiles – tells us it is wrong.

    Hmmmmmmm – where’s the logic in that?

  10. I am enjoying reading all the comments made by the politicians and loved reading through the list of those who voted against it ..

  11. I for one can’t wait to register my partner. He’s already been spayed and neutered, so this seems like the next logical step.

  12. I guess i would consider registering if it afforded me more than a token recognition of my relationship.

    But I think, given I have been in a monogomous relationship with the same man for more than a decade, we deserved a more fitting recognition than a quick trip to Births Deaths and Marriages to fill out a piece of paper. To me that is degrading, humiliating and belittles the strength of our relationship.

  13. If registration is all they are willing to offer, perhaps I should pop down and register my relationship with my cat …..

    Wonder if they will microchip us while we are there?

  14. Thanks SSO – you’ve done a great job here giving us plenty of details about he register and the voting process and what people said.

    I don’t care much for the idea of a register, but then I don’t care much for the idea of marriage either – well not under the generally accepted connotation of the word.

    I think we need to build a proposal that offers something different but affords us those rights automatically handed to ‘married’ couples.

    Seeking something that has its roots in the most homophobic of all organisations – the church – will do us know favours in the long-run.

  15. Is the NSW Government going to be generous enough to offer us a 2 free microchips and some flea treatment with this ?