Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Same sex couples add names to ACT register

Same sex couples in the ACT say they are delighted they can now legally register as partners.

Laws permitting same sex couples to formalise their relationship in the ACT were passed earlier this month, and came into force today.

Gay lobby groups say several people have already fronted up to the Registrar General's office.

One of those is Chris Healey, who says she is delighted she took the step with her partner.

"This is a recognition that we've been in a loving relationship for 23 years," she said.

Heidi Yates from lobby group Good Process says it is likely that many more same sex couples will follow.

"I imagine some couples will be waiting until they gather family and friends together," she said.

Couples will be also able to take part in a civil ceremony, but it will not be legally recognised after the Federal Government blocked the original legislation.

ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell is still smarting at that.

"The civil partnership scheme that commences today is not the complete scheme that the ACT is seeking," he said.

But he says he is still proud of the laws, calling them an important milestone for the ACT.


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