On Monday, Federal Senators began the debate on the Marriage Amendment Bill (No.2) 2012. The bill calls for the amendment of the Marriage Act 1961 to enable same-sex marriages to be recognised.  The current definition of marriage as outlined in the Marriage Act 1961 is “the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.” Should the Marriage Amendment Bill be passed, the words “a man and a woman” would be replaced with “two people” to remove the gender-specific reference of marriage partners.

Below is a summary of Senators for and against amending the definition of marriage.


Against marriage amendment:

  • Senator George Brandis

  • Senator Chris Back

  • Senator Ronald Boswell

  • Senator Eric Abetz

  • Senator Helen Polley

  • Senator Barnaby Joyce

  • Senator Cory Bernardi

  • Senator Catryna Bilyk

  • Senator Dean Smith

  • Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells

For marriage amendment:

  • Senator Sarah Hanson-Young

  • Senator Louise Pratt

  • Senator Christine Milne

  • Senator Mark Bishop

  • Senator Rachel Siewert

  • Senator John Faulkner

  • Senator Scott Ludlum

  • Senator Richard Di Natale

  • Senator Doug Cameron

  • Senator Penny Wright

  • Senator Larissa Waters

  • Senator Penny Wong

  • Senator Lee Rhiannon