l) Old campaigns, actions & notices
Feds make it harder for gay Australians to marry overseas / Legal action possible over policy that "exports prejudice"
This media release was issued by the Australian Coalition for Equality on 14.1.06
The Federal Government's refusal to issue the documents necessary for Australians to enter into same-sex marriages overseas has angered gay activists and prompted threats of legal action.
It was revealed today by The Age that in August last year the Australian Embassy in Vienna refused to issue documents confirming that an Australian citizen, Peter Kakucska, who was seeking to marry his male partner in the Netherlands, was not already married in Australia.
Dutch authorities required the documents before the marriage could take place.
The Australian Government has since confirmed that the non-issue of the required documents is standard practice based on its policy of opposing same-sex marriage.
Spokesperson for the Australian Coalition for Equality, Rodney Croome, accused the Government of trampling citizens rights and exporting prejudice.
"Not content to block the recognition of same-sex marriages in Australia, the Government is now trying to obstruct Australians from entering into them overseas", Mr Croome said.
"Every Australian citizen, no matter where they live, has an equal right to access information the Australian Government keeps on them, particularly if that information is necessary for them to enter into something as important as a marriage."
"The Government is abusing its power to export its prejudices around the world."
Mr Croome said that serious consideration is being given to an anti-discrimination complaint before the Human Rights Commission, and a court case claiming abuse of the government's discretionary powers.
"It's absolutely vital that Government prejudice not be allowed to stand between Australian same-sex couples and their happiness."
"Our legal advice is that court action against the Government's discriminatory actions would have a very good chance of success."
Mr Croome went on to accuse the Government of undermining the institution of marriage by using it to re-inforce discrimination and prejudice.
"The more the Government tries to build a wall around marriage to keep some people out, the more irrelevant the institution will become to an ever larger number of Australians, gay and straight."
The man denied a "Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage" and a "Certificate of Single Status" in Vienna in August, Mr Peter Kakucska, originally of Melbourne, has since been married to his male partner in the Netherlands.
The Dutch authorities settled for a statement from the Australian Government stating they would not issue a CNI to someone intending to enter a same-sex marriage, and an affidavit from Mr Kakucska that he was not already married in Australia.
For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668.
Peter Kakucska can be contacted on
(0011) 43 676 315 1045 (please call between 7pm and 6am Australian Summer Time)
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