Same Sex Relationships: Civil Unions

Which States and Territories allow Civil Unions or Civil Partnerships in Australia

From 9 December 2017 Same Sex couples have been able to marry in Australia.  Previously, in Australia, if a Same Sex Couple wanted to formalise their union, only some Australian States and Territories allowed couples to have a Civil Union or Civil Partnership.

Where a State or Territory did have provision for couples to utilise a Civil Union scheme, the Civil Union or Civil Partnership is usually only recognised in the particular State or Territory in which the Civil Union or Civil Partnership occured.

Only some States and Territories allowed an official ceremony.

Same sex couples were able to have Civil Unions or Civil Partnerships in:

  • Australian Capital Territory;
  • Tasmania;
  • Victoria;
  • New South Wales (no official ceremony)
  • Queensland (no official ceremony).



Queensland did briefly have legislation allowing a Civil Partnership with an official ceremony however after a change in government in 2012, that legislation was amended to only allow for the Registration of a Same Sex Relationship.

Same Sex Relationships – More Information

If you want to find out about registration of a Same Sex Relationship read our information sheet How do I register a Same Sex Relationship and do I need to.

Read more about Marriage and Civil Unions for Same Sex Couples in the information sheet We’re in a Same Sex Relationship – Can we have a Civil Union.

The laws about fostering or adopting children for same sex couples is explained in our information sheet We are a Same Sex Couple – Can we Foster or Adopt Children.

Find out more about having a baby through artificial insemination in the information sheet Using Artificial Insemination to have a baby in a Same Sex Relationships.

You may have acquired some assets or got yourself into a position where you are earning a very good wage. The information sheet Should I enter into a Binding Financial Agreement to protect myself may provide some helpful information for you.

If you are thinking about entering into a Cohabitation Agreement with your partner, read the information sheet What type of Binding Financial Agreement do I need for more information.

De Facto Relationships – More Information

It might also be important for you to read the checklist of things a court looks at to decide whether you are in a de facto relationship, the time limits applicable to your de facto relationship, how to protect your assets, the threshold requirements for de facto couples to be apply to apply for property settlement and other important legal information.

You can read more in the following sections of our website:


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